Before Iron Man was released in 2008, Marvel Studios was simply chugging along. They filed for bankruptcy in 1996 and sold many of their intellectual property rights to film studios. When the recently instated president of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, greenlit Iron Man starring Robert Downey Jr. they had to rent studio space to film. Even with a budget $60 million less than Iron Man 3, Feige was taking a risk. It created a boom that rippled throughout cultures around the world to create the largest franchise of all time.
2008's Iron Man was the spark that lit the revolution, but the Russo Brothers fanned the flames. Before the brothers entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the studio was reaching a turning point. The massively successful The Avengers