Hollywood banks on summer sequels

War Machine from Iron Man 2

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Stacey Vanek-Smith: It's only May, but for the movie industry, it's summer blockbuster season. The first budget release hits theaters today: Iron Man 2. Jill Barshay reports.


Iron Man: I am Iron Man. The suit and I are one.

Jill Barshay: Iron Man 2 is one of 11 sequels or remakes to come out this summer. There's Shrek Forever After, Toy Story 3 -- even the Karate Kid.

Carl DiOrio: It's a trend that just keeps coming and coming.

That's Carl DiOrio at the Hollywood Reporter:

DiOrio: Hollywood studios do like sure bets, particularly on $200 million investments.

He says studios are betting heavily on international markets this year. They now make up 60 percent of ticket sales. And there's an added incentive to get movies overseas early:

DiOrio: Those moviegoers will be basically unavailable once the soccer World Cup commences in mid-June.

The World Cup has pushed Paramount to do something extremely unusual. Normally movies are released in the U.S. first. But Paramount decided to release Iron Man 2 to 53 foreign countries a full week ago.

In New York, I'm Jill Barshay for Marketplace.

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