It’s closing in on Summer Movie Season (yes, it’s capitalized). For the next several months movie studios will be throwing out their blockbusters, and personally this is my favorite time of the year to see movies. (I’m a sucker for big-budget popcorn flicks.)
One of the major tentpole movies coming out this summer is Iron Man 3. This is a big deal for a lot of people, including me. When I was younger I had a thing for robots. In my confused little brain, I somehow thought that Iron Man was a robot, not some dude in a tin suit. Either way, for a few months Iron Man was my favorite superhero. To this day, I still have some warm feelings about the guy, meaning I’m pumped for the movie.
In preparation for the next installment in the series, I rewatched the first two movies. One of the things that struck me was Iron Man’s house. It’s gorgeous, open, and a million more adjectives. This led me to ask: How much would Iron Man’s house cost?
After I crunched the numbers and battled the Internet, my best guess was about $117,250,000. To put this into perspective, Iron Man’s house is more than twice the price of Wayne Manor in our chosen Chicago suburb. You’ll never hear me say that Iron Man is better than Batman, but someone out there is going to put a checkmark in Tony Stark’s column.
How I Did It
You know this: I needed a size, location, and comparables in order to value Tony Stark’s palatial abode. Of these three things, all were somewhat difficult to come by, though they were definitely not as hard to source as in some of my previous projects. I’m still reeling from evaluating Howl’s Moving Castle and Hogwarts. In fact, compared to those two projects, evaluating Iron Man’s digs was easy.
I’ll start with what “Iron Man house” I picked and a location.
Where Does a Genius, Billionaire, Philanthropists Live?
Where has Iron Man lived over the years? That’s quite a question and the answer depends on what “Iron Man” you’re talking about. Iron Man started life in comic books, but because the movie is right around the corner, I decided to look at the home from the Iron Man movie series. What did I find? Iron Man’s huge, state-of-the-art home is located on California’s Point Dume, which is itself located in Malibu, CA.
While this information was great to find, there was a little problem. Point Dume—the cliff, at least—are protected. In other words, you can’t build a massive home on the cliffs of Point Dume. I’m sorry to break the news to you; I cried as well.
It turns out that during the lead-up to the first movie, production designers wanted to film in a home that resembled a John Lautner creation. The problem—and I can’t believe I’m saying this—was that the homes in the area weren’t fancy enough. They looked like they were owned by poor millionaires, opposed to billionaires.
Instead of using a real house, director John Favreau picked a cliff top and CGI-ed a fancy house onto it. The interior shots were filmed inside a sound stage.
In Evaluations, Size Matters
It’s typically pretty easy to figure out a way to put a square footage to a fictional house. Yes, some homes are easier than others, but it can be done with enough time and energy. The Iron Man house proved to be the exception. Try as I might, I couldn’t come up with a way to evaluate the home’s size. There aren’t models; there aren’t blueprints. It was a sad day indeed.
What this meant was that I needed to be a bit liberal in how I came up with an estimated size. I had several options at this point, none of which I was too excited about. I might have been putting a price tag to a fictional property, but darn it, I wanted that price to be as accurate as possible. My options were:
- Find a home that inspired the Iron Man house
- Make up a random number
- Find the largest home in the area and assume Stark’s digs were at least as big
After looking into all of these, I decide to base the square footage on a home that partially inspired the fictional abode. I mentioned above that Iron Man’s home was base on John Lautner designs. I decided that Casa Marbisa (25,000 square feet) was a pretty good match. To be on the safe side, I searched for a Malibu home with a similar square footage. Earlier this year, billionaire Howard Marks sold his 20,000 square foot Malibu home. This led me to believe Casa Marbrisa was in the same ballpark, at least size-wise.
How Many Zeros?
As with similar posts, I had a couple of different means of figuring out the price of Iron Man’s badass abode. If you’ve read my previous evaluations, you know I do this by finding either comparable homes and their price per square foot or by looking at the average cost per square foot of all homes in an area. In this case, I looked at that Tony Malibu home that sold earlier this year. It sold for $75 million—the most any home was sold for in the area. This comes to $3,750 per square foot of property.
I thought this was a pretty good start, but ultimately pretty low. This led me to wonder how much a view is worth. I’ve read that an outstanding ocean view can add anywhere from 20 to 30 percent to a home’s value. Now, if the view Iron Man has isn’t exceptional, I don’t know what is. So, I added an additional 25 percent to the cost. This brought the price to about $4,690 per square foot.
Putting It Together
Armed with both our fictional home’s square footage and a price, I slapped them together using a handy concept known as “multiplication” to come up with a price point of $117,250,000.
This buys you just the house, and doesn’t include the insane amount of gadgets Stark has threaded through the structure. In fact, if I added in Jarvis—the artificial intelligence that runs the house—the price could easily increase by $150 million. My bet is it would be a lot more, as that price is how much it costs to develop current artificial intelligence programs like Siri—which are, obviously, far less advanced than Jarvis. But this is moot since Stark would never leave Jarvis behind if he sold his pad.
If you do a quick search of the Internet, you’ll come across a rumor that surfaced a while back about a so-called “Iron Man house” that went on the market back in 2010 for $25 million. As far as I can tell, this was a case of the Internet being wrong. I know—how often does that happen? Photos associated with the rumor are said to be of The Razor Residence in La Jolla, CA. There’s also the little fact that The Razor is a only 11,000 square feet, and that’s just not enough room to house Stark and his toys.