Fresh off "Iron Man's" imposing performance at the box office, Marvel Studios announced four new comic-book movies Monday, including an "Avengers" movie that will team "Iron Man," "Hulk," "Captain America" and "Thor."
The new movies will include:
"Iron Man 2," reprising the tale of the man in metal, will be released April 30, 2010.
"Thor," based on the popular Norse warrior, is scheduled for release June 4, 2010.
"The First Avenger: Captain America" is due out May 6, 2011.
"The Avengers," the story of the crime fighting team, is slated for July 2011.
"Ant-Man," about a biochemist who can control insects, is in development with no release date slated.
That is in addition to "The Incredible Hulk," starring Edward Norton and due in theaters June 13.
No casting decisions were made at the announcement, made before Marvel stockholders Monday, though "Iron Man" star Robert Downey Jr. has said he's interested in reprising his role and co-star Gwyneth Paltrow has said she is signed on for two more installments.
The news came a day after "Iron Man" took in $100.8 million for the weekend, the second highest opening for a movie that was not a sequel.
"They've got so much cachet right now, it makes sense to take advantage of it," says Paul Dergarabedian of Media By Numbers. "The key will be to getting the high pedigree of actors they had for 'Iron Man.' If they can do that, they'll push comic-book movies beyond being niche pictures and into a genre like romantic comedies or action-adventure -- something that doesn't have a stigma."