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$100 Million for Iron Man?

May 5th, 2008

Summer started with a bang, and a whimper... it depends on what you compare it to. Over the weekend, the box office totaled $159 million in ticket sales, which is 75% more than last weekend. However, it is also 16% less than the same weekend last year when Spider-man 3 smashed the record for biggest opening weekend. Compared to expectations, this was a great start; compared to last year, 2008 continues to struggle.

As previously stated on our site, figuring out Iron Man's true weekend box office is a little trickier than usual. Paramount included Thursday's evening showings in their report fr Friday. I see why they did this -- so they could announce a $100 million opening weekend. However, while not strictly accurate, it is not unheard of for studios to do this. In fact, in many European nations, previews that happened one or two weeks before the official opening date are lumped into the opening weekend numbers as standard practice. Regardless of what it made over the weekend vs. its 4-day total, this is a fantastic total and more than most were expecting. Add in the best reviews for a wide release this year, and there's little shock that there will be a sequel. In fact, it has been reported that Iron Man 2 already has a release date. Hopefully the combination of astronomical reviews for this film and weak reviews for Speed Racer will result in strong holds over the coming weekend and that will help the film's legs throughout the summer. It looks like Marvel's decision to take over the creative process of movie making and leaving the studios to simply distribute their films was a wise one.

As expected, Made of Honor placed second with $14.76 million during its opening weekend, which is about as close to Thursday's predictions as one could get. Good news: this is a genre that tends to have longer legs than average. Bad news: it has terrible reviews and direct competition next weekend. Even so, it should become a mid-level hit and the studio should be happy.

Baby Mama matched the high end of expectations with $10.07 million over the weekend for a total of $32.06 million after two. It was originally expected to make only $35 million, but it will easily top that by Friday and there's little doubt it will make a profit sometime on the home market.

On the other hand, Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay was on the low end of expectations with $6.11 million over the weekend for a 10-day total of $25.37 million. Given the film's low, low production budget, it has already made enough to ensure a profit during its initial push into the home market, if not sooner.

Rounding out the top five was Forgetting Sarah Marshall with $6.06 million, which was nearly exactly what was predicted on Thursday. This time next week it should crack $50 million in total, which is enough to be considered a mid-level hit.

There was only one film in the sophomore class to not reach the top ten. That film was Deception, which missed the top ten with just $883,000 over the weekend for a total of $4.00 million. Factoring in its reviews, it will probably be a bad memory by the end of the month.


Filed under: Iron Man, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Baby Mama, Made of Honor, Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, Deception