Weekend Wrap Up: Iron Man Blasts Away Expectations

Going into this weekend, we all knew Iron Man 3 would be huge. The only real question was how huge. Everything else just cleared the path for Marvel’s latest film, and wisely so. Tony Stark came to town and gave Marvel both of the top two highest grossing opening weekends of all time.

Iron Man 3

Let’s begin by breaking the weekend down. On Friday alone, Iron Man 3 pulled in a huge $68 million, which alone nearly put it among the top ten films for 2013. That Friday figure is behind several Twilight films, but the sparkly vampire tales were always absurdly front-loaded, so it was a given that Iron Man 3 would beat all of those. The bigger question here was if it could surpass Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II and claim the second biggest opening weekend over, second only to The Avengers.

Mission accomplished. Iron Man 3 held well over the weekend, grossing $62 million on Saturday and easing down to $44 million on Sunday. Add all that up and you get a mammoth opening of $175 million. I was expecting this to open somewhere in the $150 million range, but this higher gross doesn’t necessarily surprise me. This film is like a sequel to The Avengers and Iron Man is the most popular character in that ensemble so a debut of this magnitude makes perfect sense.

In just three days, Iron Man 3 has become the second highest grossing film of the year. Yes. You read that right. It took just one weekend to surpass every single other film released so far in 2013, apart from Oz: The Great and Powerful, which will be long since surpassed by the end of next weekend. The only question is where does Iron Man 3 go from here?

Fan reaction to the film seems mixed, but it doesn’t even need particularly good legs to surpass $400 million. I suppose the interesting thing to watch is if Tony Stark can surpass either of fellow billionaire superhero Bruce Wayne’s major outings. The $533 million of The Dark Knight is more than likely out of reach, but the $448 million of The Dark Knight Rises could feasibly fall. I knew the May box office was going to be interesting, and we’re already off to a great start.

The rest of the box office this weekend is remarkably uninteresting. But that’s what happens you try to go up against something like Iron Man 3. Anyway, last week’s champ, Pain and Gain, dropped 63% to $7.6 million. Its $34 million total is….okay. But I get the feeling Michael Bay will be eager to get back to the greener pastures of Transformers.

Dropping a fitting 42% is 42, which pulled in $6.2 million this weekend. With $78 million in the bank, $100 million is probably out of reach, but ending up around $90-95 million is still very good. Oblivion got hit hard, as its audience was stolen away by Iron Man 3. Collapsing 67%, it grossed $5.8 million and lifted the total to just under $76 million. But at least Tom Cruise can rest somewhat easy because Oblivion is doing much better overseas.

Now 2013’s third highest grossing film, The Croods fell 37% to $4.2 million. Just to reiterate, its $168 million total was beaten by Iron Man 3 in just one weekend. Sixth goes to The Big Wedding, which fell to 49% to $3.9 million and brought its total to $13.2 million. Mud, an indie film starring Matthew McConaughey, pops into the top ten by dropping just 3%. It made $2.2 million, bringing its total gross to $5.2 million.

The soon to be runner up for 2013, Oz: The Great and Powerful, somehow increased 0.6%, which makes no sense to me since 450 theatres. Go figure. $1.8 million gives the lame duck champion $228.6 million in total. In a great display of just how awful the box office has been lately, Scary Movie 5 managed to stay in the top for a fourth weekend. Down 58%, it grossed $1.4 million and raised the sum to an awful $29.6 million.

Falling 52% to $1.3 million, The Place Beyond the Pines wraps up the top ten. The Fox Focus picture has grossed $18.7 million to date. But, really, we all know the story this weekend was Iron Man 3. Next weekend should be a bit of a breather before Star Trek: Into Darkness arrives in two weekends. On the plus side for next week’s movies, they present solid counter-programming as they both target demographics who might not be interested in Iron Man 3. I stand by my earlier predictions for both Tyler Perry Presents Peeples ($18 million) and The Great Gatsby ($25 million.) Until we meet again

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