Weekend Box Office

Box Office Guru Wrapup: Iron Man Rocks, Speed Racer Stalls

Iron Man convincingly retains its place at the top.

by | May 11, 2008 | Comments

There was no stopping the strength of Iron Man which dominated the multiplexes for a second straight frame grossing more than the two new releases combined. The race for second place was extremely close as the Warner Bros. family picture Speed Racer and Fox’s comedy What Happens in Vegas delivered nearly identical numbers over the weekend. Regardless, the new product and the strong hold from the super hero giant helped the overall marketplace surge well ahead of year-ago levels.

Paramount ruled the box office again with the first installment of its new super hero franchise Iron Man which grossed an estimated $50.5M dropping 49% from last week. Compared to the studio’s $102.1M bow which included Thursday night showtimes the second weekend decline was still just 51% which amounted to a strong hold given the enormous amount of business that was generated in the first weekend. The cume has soared to $177.1M already making it the top-grossing film of 2008 by surpassing the $150.7M that Horton Hears A Who has collected over the last two months.





Iron Man is off to the best start ever for a non-webslinger comic book movie. The total beat out ten-day starts for 2003’s X2: X-Men United ($147.7M) and 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand ($175.3M). The third mutant adventure even launched over the lucrative Memorial Day holiday weekend. X2 dropped by a similar 53% in its second session and its ten-day cume would amount to roughly $174M at today’s ticket prices so Iron Man is closely following that Marvel film’s admissions trajectory. The second X-Men flick, which had the same May 2 opening date five years ago, went on to gross $214.9M domestically, or around $250M at 2008 prices.

The Robert Downey Jr. pic scored the largest sophomore weekend haul of any film since last May’s Shrek the Third which banked $53M on its second frame. Positive word-of-mouth helped as fans are recommending the super hero film to others and helping to drive sales. Plus the two new releases ended up not providing too much competition. This Friday’s release of The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian and the following week’s debut of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull will provide some formidable distractions very soon. But at its current pace, Iron Man should soar to $260-280M from North America alone and could break the $500M mark worldwide.





Warner Bros. and Fox both fought over the number two spot with their new releases. According to estimates released on Sunday, Warners won by a slim $200,000 margin however the rankings could get switched on Monday when final grosses are tabulated. But based on Friday and Saturday grosses, neither studio could claim a true victory as the race was too close to call.

The big-budget family film Speed Racer struggled in its opening weekend bowing to an estimated $20.2M from 3,606 locations. Averaging a decent $5,605 per theater, the PG-rated film from the Wachowski Brothers fell short of all industry expectations. Even the least bullish projections forecast a debut in the high $20M range. Panned by most critics, the colorful and stylized racing flick tried to target kids and parents but failed to truly connect with audiences. Other high profile live-action summer films based on cartoon shows of the past fared better like Scooby Doo which bowed to $54.2M in 2002 and The Flintstones which debuted to $37.2M over four days back in 1994. Speed Racer at least didn’t crash and burn like The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle which opened to a miserable $6.8M in 2000.




Warner Bros. calculated a slim 11% Sunday decline into its weekend estimate which may end coming down on Monday when final numbers are added up. Fox estimated a 29% Sunday drop for What Happens in Vegas and most major wide releases experienced 30-40% declines on Sunday. Speed Racer suffered from bad buzz and intense competition from Iron Man which appealed to many of the same people. Plus the racing pic is based on a property that lacks the broad mainstream appeal that other major summer films benefit from. With a reported production cost of well over $100M, Speed Racer also got off to a slow start overseas grossing just $12.8M from 30 markets. South Korea saw the largest international opening with $2.4M helped undoubtedly by the film’s casting of Korean pop star Rain, however most countries saw debut weekends of under $1M.

Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher made their own bid for the runnerup spot with the new anti-romantic comedy What Happens in Vegas which took in an estimated $20M this weekend. Playing in 3,215 playdates, the PG-13 film averaged a solid $6,221 per venue. Vegas performed better than all the other recent comedies to hit the marketplace over the last month scoring higher than the openings for Forgetting Sarah Marshall ($17.7M), Baby Mama ($17.4M), and Made of Honor ($14.8M). In fact if the estimate holds, Vegas will enjoy the third best comedy opening of the year after 27 Dresses ($23M) and Meet the Browns ($20.1M).





Four recent comedies with a combined cume of $148M followed with each dropping by less than 50%. In its second weekend, Sony’s Made of Honor fell by 49% to an estimated $7.6M pushing the ten-day tally to respectable $26.3M. Budgeted at $40M (a tad high for a laugher), the Patrick Dempsey vehicle should find its way to a mediocre $40-45M domestically.

Universal’s pair of comedies Baby Mama and Forgetting Sarah Marshall followed with estimates of $5.8M and $3.8M, respectively. The Tina FeyAmy Poehler pic dropped 43% and lifted its sum to $40.4M. Judd Apatow‘s latest R-rated concoction dipped by only 38% and has laughed up $50.7M to date.





Falling 49% was the stoner sequel Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay with an estimated $3.2M giving New Line and parent Warner Bros. $30.7M to date.

Jackie Chan and Jet Li claimed the number eight spot with The Forbidden Kingdom which took in an estimated $1.9M, off 55%, for a $48.3M total for Lionsgate. Fox’s kidpic Nim’s Island fell 51% to an estimated $1.3M giving the adventure film $44.3M in its sixth week of play.





Sony Classics expanded its martial arts drama Redbelt after a week in limited release and landed in the top ten with an estimated $1.1M. Averaging a weak $827 from 1,379 locations, the R-rated action film upped its total to $1.2M and should conclude its run with less than $4M.

Sony saw two hits and a flop fall out of the top ten this weekend. The teen thriller Prom Night tumbled 56% to an estimated $1.1M boosting the cume to $42.8M. Produced for only $20M, the PG-13 fright flick should end up with a solid $45M. The card-counting drama 21 enjoyed a six-week streak in the top ten but dropped 58% this weekend to an estimated $835,000. With a robust $80.4M in winnings earned to date, the Kevin Spacey flick looks to cash out with around $82M which was much better than anyone had expected.





Al Pacino did not have much luck with audiences as they ignored his latest crime thriller 88 Minutes. The dismal entry collapsed by 69% this weekend taking in just $485,000, according to estimates, to push its embarrassing sum to only $16.4M. Not much more will be added.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $115.4M which was up a healthy 24% from last year when Spider-Man 3 remained on top with $58.2M; and up a sturdy 43% from 2006 when Mission: Impossible III stayed at number one with $25M. Both of those action sequels were in their second weekends.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, Box Office Guru

Tag Cloud

TV One 2021 A24 know your critic Fox Searchlight 4/20 franchise technology concert Tarantino twilight canceled TV shows Lifetime Christmas movies GLAAD free movies dramedy Polls and Games ABC Family green book politics psycho canceled reboot spinoff Television Critics Association Walt Disney Pictures toronto Trivia 2016 police drama Premiere Dates science fiction TCA 2017 joker Animation Mystery Hallmark Starz reviews Disney streaming service nature VH1 Winter TV zombie what to watch FX on Hulu The Academy Britbox independent 007 finale christmas movies directors stop motion VICE basketball game of thrones LGBT razzies Pixar 21st Century Fox Epix venice San Diego Comic-Con foreign TCA crime drama Arrowverse Rom-Com medical drama BET Awards Amazon Prime Video kong Certified Fresh Avengers video on demand historical drama transformers TNT Ghostbusters scene in color Ellie Kemper rt archives italian Funimation HBO DC streaming service spain Writers Guild of America Emmy Nominations Awards Tour deadpool Freeform RT21 marvel cinematic universe Amazon Studios cancelled movie Lifetime MSNBC MCU Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Oscars all-time cancelled TV series USA 72 Emmy Awards Crunchyroll ID television BET Mary poppins documentaries VOD Rock legend docuseries versus FX Thanksgiving obituary critics BBC America jamie lee curtis festivals japanese SDCC Star Wars E! Masterpiece stand-up comedy TCA Awards 2017 MTV Warner Bros. Best and Worst political drama Pet Sematary Apple hist Musicals Paramount Network 20th Century Fox Turner Classic Movies Mindy Kaling Winners 24 frames TV crime fresh Hear Us Out child's play revenge worst movies American Society of Cinematographers halloween tv social media CMT book Summer australia screenings comic Pride Month popular GIFs Comedy Central Music satire Endgame USA Network discovery remakes Acorn TV spanish Holidays First Look A&E PBS live action Tokyo Olympics die hard Watching Series Horror Travel Channel Character Guide documentary The Walt Disney Company Alien Star Trek Quiz telelvision richard e. Grant TruTV casting diversity rotten movies we love boxing 90s El Rey Comic Book YouTube Red Pop TV period drama Dark Horse Comics natural history hidden camera godzilla spider-man ratings Trophy Talk batman Sundance TV Pop Film teaser Syfy Nominations name the review biography The CW movies OneApp docudrama strong female leads Baby Yoda DC Comics comics festival space Amazon Prime new star wars movies Marvel parents Captain marvel Binge Guide Tumblr Tubi golden globe awards Fall TV based on movie Cosplay Shudder Netflix golden globes Paramount GoT asian-american stoner Discovery Channel hollywood rom-coms high school Marvel Studios Exclusive Video facebook fast and furious book adaptation criterion jurassic park japan NBA dc romance The Walking Dead President nfl Song of Ice and Fire Academy Awards laika Stephen King DirecTV 1990s blockbusters crossover Extras hispanic miniseries Anna Paquin crime thriller comedies cults game show OWN Pacific Islander aapi History Netflix Christmas movies Sundance TV Land Image Comics Set visit renewed TV shows boxoffice award winner universal monsters Tomatazos cops Lucasfilm Calendar YouTube streaming Television Academy Super Bowl Marvel Television women mockumentary south america RT History FXX cancelled TV shows Sony Pictures Sci-Fi elevated horror Trailer National Geographic WarnerMedia Year in Review Apple TV Plus Legendary cooking zero dark thirty quibi Columbia Pictures Photos trailers TCA Winter 2020 Rocketman indie toy story Video Games LGBTQ Peacock BAFTA Box Office Martial Arts YouTube Premium 2015 2019 Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Emmys animated Spike Nickelodeon harry potter olympics dark Fox News new zealand Sundance Now halloween Marathons Universal Biopics Schedule Paramount Plus Creative Arts Emmys First Reviews The Witch NBC emmy awards kaiju Family composers new york sequels screen actors guild DC Universe Film Festival superhero 2020 king kong worst target TBS 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards mission: impossible Superheroe series Turner Red Carpet Hallmark Christmas movies APB Holiday Fantasy cars 71st Emmy Awards Logo Vudu monster movies a nightmare on elm street Grammys TLC blaxploitation Western news Amazon NYCC Podcast talk show Toys romantic comedy Esquire AMC Crackle psychological thriller Comics on TV Spectrum Originals SundanceTV CNN Country Reality Competition See It Skip It ghosts 93rd Oscars Opinion SXSW Showtime serial killer Disney+ Disney Plus HBO Go cats saw ITV 45 tv talk Superheroes comic books Reality rotten Classic Film robots Disney Plus suspense TV movies E3 TIFF Cannes Interview Disney prank slashers WGN cinemax FOX justice league adenture cartoon Bravo Mudbound Chernobyl aliens films latino dogs best theme song adventure pirates of the caribbean The Arrangement anthology unscripted classics binge Countdown kids witnail Broadway spanish language Infographic children's TV werewolf vampires Christmas war sag awards Nat Geo streaming movies Musical Mary Poppins Returns scorecard PaleyFest Comic-Con@Home 2021 nbcuniversal YA PlayStation adaptation Awards anime Cartoon Network sports video true crime IFC Kids & Family disaster superman Drama sequel Mary Tyler Moore Valentine's Day scary movies supernatural james bond CW Seed dragons Heroines ESPN chucky football ABC comiccon heist movie dceu Hulu ABC Signature Adult Swim Teen Black Mirror Wes Anderson lord of the rings CBS All Access Apple TV+ Lionsgate singing competition Black History Month Disney Channel ViacomCBS doctor who CBS travel Women's History Month TV renewals Rocky Food Network zombies black breaking bad TCM indiana jones DGA french X-Men Comedy Ovation Sneak Peek international Spring TV Shondaland wonder woman Brie Larson blockbuster Elton John cancelled television thriller New York Comic Con Election spy thriller sitcom Pirates BBC mutant The Purge 2018 Action HBO Max BBC One king arthur 99% IFC Films archives