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Iron Man Laps Competition

May 12th, 2008

It was a good news / bad news weekend, but let's focus on the good first. Iron Man beat expectations and that helped the overall box office top $125 million over the weekend. This was 21% lower than last weekend, but, more importantly, it was 18% more than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2008 is still behind, but it is cutting into 2007's lead and is now down just $2.93 billion to $3.01 billion.

Iron Man held on better than most $100 million openers, and was down just under 50% to $51.19 million over the weekend for a total of $177.83 million after two. This makes it the biggest hit of the year already, topping Horton Hears a Who after just nine days of release (or ten if you include Thursday's pre-midnight showings, which almost no-one is). Where does it go from here? Well, that depends on how well Prince Caspian and Crystal Skull can do with critics and how well they can take advantage of their advance buzz. Worst case scenario still has Iron Man earning $250 million while $300 million is still within reach, especially if it can hold on as the holidays start.

In a big surprise, What Happens in Vegas... was able to place second with $20.17 million. This matches Thursday's prediction nearly perfectly and causes no end of frustration with me. You see, I was originally going to write that I had a gut feeling that What Happens in Vegas... had a shot at topping Speed Racer during its opening weekend, but I decided against making that prediction because I felt it was too unlikely. I would have looked like a genius had I followed through. But back to What Happens in Vegas.... The film's long term chances are better than its reviews would indicate as its genre is known for legs. It should become a mid-level hit, even with the direct competition that is looming just over the horizon.

Just how bad was Speed Racer's opening? Some were predicting a per theater average of just over $10,000, but it made just half of that. In fact, its weekend box office of $18.56 million was nearly 10% less than yesterday's estimate. Add in very weak reviews and there's little hope the movie will recover. Look for the film to suffer a sharp drop-off this weekend, and it could start shedding theaters the weekend after.

As expected, Made of Honor added $8.12 million over the weekend for a total of $26.79 million after two. $50 million is likely out of the question, but it should still recoup its costs sometime on the home market.

Baby Mama, on the other hand, should reach $50 million after adding $6.23 million over the weekend for a total of $40.84 million. This matched Thursday's prediction nearly perfectly, but overall it has already made more than originally expected.

There were no films in the sophomore class that did not reach the top five.


Filed under: Iron Man, What Happens in Vegas..., Baby Mama, Made of Honor, Speed Racer