# Box Office Guru Wrapup: Iron Man 2 Draws Fifth Biggest Opening of All-Time

## Audiences welcome Tony Stark's return with over $130 million. The summer movie season kicked off with the thunderous opening of the eagerly awaited super hero sequel Iron Man 2 which hauled in an estimated$133.6M over the Friday-to-Sunday period making for the fifth biggest debut of all-time. Paramount released the Marvel production in a mammoth 4,380 theaters including 181 venues with IMAX screens making it the widest bow in history edging out the 4,366-theater release of The Dark Knight in July 2008. The new Tony Stark film averaged a scorching $30,502 per site. Hollywood's only blockbusters to open bigger were Knight with$158.4M, Spider-Man 3 with $151.1M, The Twilight Saga: New Moon with$142.8M, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest with $135.6M. Iron Man 2 registered the largest debut in company history for Paramount beating Shrek the Third's$121.6M and was second-best among May titles behind another Marvel sequel launching over the first weekend of the month - the third Spidey flick.

Robert Downey Jr. once again played the title role with Jon Favreau directing and Gwenyth Paltrow co-starring. New players this time for the $170M production were Mickey Rourke, Sam Rockwell, Scarlett Johansson, and Don Cheadle. Samuel L. Jackson's cameo in the first installment was expanded into a supporting role this time giving the actor the coveted 'and' credit. Rourke snagged the almost-as-cool 'with' credit. Numerous promotional partners added marketing muscle to the campaign including Burger King, Audi, 7-Eleven, Dr. Pepper, Oracle, and Hershey's Reese's brand. Fans powered the first Iron Man to an opening of$102.1M (including Thursday night shows starting at 8pm) two years ago over the first weekend of May ahead of a leggy run that reached $318.4M. The sequel's opening was 31% better and benefited from 7% more theaters, two years of ticket price increases, and the addition of an IMAX release which took advantage of higher ticket prices. IM2 set a new record for biggest 2D IMAX opening with$10.2M from 181 screens beating the $8.5M from 138 of last May's Star Trek, also a Paramount release. As with its predecessor, Iron Man 2 scored an encouraging A grade from CinemaScore indicating great satisfaction from paying audiences. Critics were not as enthusiastic this time around but in general reviews were good, especially for a comic book sequel. Exit polls showed that 60% of the crowd was male and 60% was over 25. Friday kicked off with a stunning$52.3M in ticket sales including $7.5M in Thursday night post-midnight shows, Saturday dipped 11% to$46.5M, and Sunday is estimated to slide by 25% to $34.9M. The metal man accounted for a whopping 78% of all sales for the top ten movies this weekend as competition hardly existed and rival studios steered clear of releasing anything big against it. Overseas, where the Stark gang debuted a week earlier, ticket sales hit an estimated$57.2M this weekend lifting the international tally to $194M. That makes for a massive$190.8M global weekend gross and a $327.6M cume to date worldwide in under two weeks. Even with large sequel-type declines in the weeks ahead, Iron Man 2 should have no problem zooming past the$582M global haul of its predecessor paving the way for a third chapter which Marvel is already planning.

Freddy Krueger took a tumble as expected. The horror remake A Nightmare on Elm Street fell a sharp 72% in its second weekend to an estimated $9.2M putting it in a distant second place. It was a larger sophomore fall than those for other fright redos like Halloween (64%) and Prom Night (58%) but did not reach the incredibly high 80% crash suffered by Friday the 13th last year. With$48.5M in ten days, Nightmare should end up with a solid $60-65M nearly matching the$65M of the Jason remake.

Holding up well yet again in its seventh weekend of release was the 3D sensation How To Train Your Dragon which slipped only 36% to an estimated $6.8M boosting the hit toon into the double-century club with$201.1M to date. A final domestic take of $220-225M seems likely. Fox's leggy comedy hit Date Night followed with an estimated$5.3M in its fifth weekend, down only 30%, for a $80.9M cume to date. The Jennifer Lopez pic The Back-up Plan dropped 40% to an estimated$4.3M giving CBS Films $29.4M thus far. Summit's family flop Furry Vengeance fell 40% to an estimated$4M resulting in a poor ten-day tally of just $11.6M. Clash of the Titans took a big hit from Iron Man 2 tumbling 61% to an estimated$2.3M. After its sixth frame, the Warner Bros. 3D adventure has banked $157.8M. Chris Rock's latest comedy Death at a Funeral followed with an estimated$2.1M, off 49%, for a $38.3M sum for Sony. The Losers ranked ninth collapsing 69% to an estimated$1.8M with $21.5M to date for Warner Bros. Three films fought over tenth place with estimated grosses between$1.5M and $1.6M but if Sunday estimates are to be believed, the documentary Babies narrowly won the race. Opening to weak results, the PG-rated film about the first year of life for four babies growing up in different parts of the world grossed an estimated$1.6M from 534 theaters for a lackluster $2,951 average. Focus went unusually wide with the launch as most non-Michael Moore documentaries do not bow in this many theaters on the first weekend. Disney's nature films Oceans and Earth are two examples of wide releases for the genre as both were tied into Earth Day. Babies was slated for Mother's Day weekend, however its target audience of new parents rarely get time to go out to the movies at that stage of life. A much larger crowd is likely to catch it on DVD and VOD. Reviews for the French-produced doc were generally positive. The top ten films grossed an estimated$171M which was up 23% from last year when Star Trek opened in the top spot with $75.2M ($79.2M including Thursday night); and up 48% from 2008 when Iron Man remained at number one with $51.2M. During those two years, this was the second weekend of summer and not the kickoff. ### Comments Iron man 2 was awesome glad to see it doing well. Also glad to see nightmare fall that movie is a waste of time and money. May 9 - 03:13 PM Good for IM2. I'm thinking it will finish around 350-370. It was awesome and deserves every cent in earns. May 9 - 03:13 PM Great movie great sequel here's hoping for a great trilogy May 9 - 03:20 PM Good to see a very strong start to the summer season, and even greater to see it delivered by a very strong movie! Saw Iron Man 2 this weekend in the IMAX theatre, and loved it!! I actually liked it a bit better than the first one, and I really loved that one!! Yes, there was more action and explosions in it, but come on! What sequel doesn't?? However they didn't lose sight that what made the first so successful was the characters, and they kept up with the strong characterization in this installment as well. I can't wait for the third one, and for those who haven't seen it, stay until the end of the credits. there's a cool extra tidbit for those with patience!! Can't wait to see it again, I may this weekend along with Robin Hood. Looks to be a very promising summer!! May 9 - 03:21 PM The third one will be The Avengers(While it will be the 2nd one for Hulk, Thor, and Captain America). May 9 - 03:24 PM The funny thing is, when you go back and think about it there really weren't that many more explosions...aside from the ending sequence which I think everyone wanted a few more explosions from the first one. It seemed that way because the movie had such a frenetic pace, but really they established that pace without gaudy explosions and whatnot. Impressive. I agree I liked it a bit more than the first one. I think I'd pay money to see RDJ do standup as Tony Stark. Great character. May 10 - 04:41 AM Awesome movie, enjoyed it a lot! Great opening but I bet it would have done more if it was released last week. Damn you pirates! May 9 - 03:22 PM I enjoyed it. It's not "IM1"...but it was a fun flick. The trailers left a lot to be desired though: "Twilight" "Last Airbender" "Super 8" "Grown Ups" "Inception" (looks good, don't quite get the hype though) May 9 - 03:28 PM I had the following trailers Toy Story 3 The Last Airbender Shrek Forever After Robin Hood Inception(Same with you, I don't get the hype.) Super 8 May 9 - 04:30 PM the hype if for it being most likely the best sci fi movie ever...have you seen DARK KNIGHT? And yes...Iron Man 2 is solid. May 10 - 12:06 PM Best SciFi ever...you really need to get out more my friend. May 10 - 12:23 PM Well Inception's hype is mainly because of the cast Nolan... At least that's why I'm excited about it. May 9 - 06:43 PM an average movie taking advantage of a weak market. May 9 - 03:46 PM Personally thought IM2 was better than the original. :) Well done. May 9 - 03:53 PM Same here. May 9 - 04:21 PM I'll get around to seeing this eventually (maybe by rental). Hopefully, I'll enjoy it. However, I'd look out for Toy Story 3 (my most anticipated film). If that movie doesn't surpass Iron Man 2's record, it won't be far behind, mark my words. May 9 - 03:57 PM Glad to see IM2 doing well, I really liked it.$133 mil is lower than I thought it would make though. Oh well, glad TDK's record is standing the test of time so far, wonder what movie will eventually break it? The next Batman movie or something else?

May 9 - 04:12 PM

My guess will probably be Twilight: Eclipse. Although most of its earnings will be from opening day.

May 9 - 04:23 PM

May 9 - 04:39 PM

I agree with you August M. I think that Twilight Eclipse will beat Iron Man 2 on the opening day, and in fact has a chance of beating The Dark Knight for best one day opening. I mean New Moon Last year made \$142 million the first weekend, so Eclipse is almost certainly going to surpass it no matter what the critics say.

May 9 - 04:58 PM

Sadly you guys are probably right. Quite a sad world we live in when a mediocre tween vampire movie breaks box office records. Ugh.

May 9 - 07:34 PM

I would hope it's Toy Story 3, but I wouldn't be surprised at all if it was Twilight (ugh)

May 9 - 09:13 PM

Ummm, Dark Knight One Day was Broken by New Moon.

May 10 - 12:41 PM

I'm sorry I meant the opening weekend.

May 11 - 05:15 AM

Never mind people, Eclipse will open on a Wednesday, June 30th. Rest easy Dark Knight fans, it's record wont be defeated since there there will be a decline days after its release.

May 10 - 05:26 AM

Wow, Kickass tanked this weekend :(

May 9 - 04:55 PM

I was dissapointed and am glad it didn't get near TDK's record.

BTW, did i don't remember seeing that 3rd pic in the film.
The one with Scarlett and Tony. I went to the bathroom for 4 mins between the begining of the expo and Warmachine's intro. Did that scene occur then?

May 9 - 04:57 PM

I was thinking the exact same thing about the picture. I'm do not remember seeing that at all and I watched the entire movie.

May 9 - 05:09 PM

it wasn't in the movie, also some scenes from the trailer were not in the final cut

May 9 - 05:35 PM

i just hope they get ed norton and RDJ for the avengers or it just wont work IMO......why set up the universe if u cant keep the actors

May 9 - 04:58 PM

Unfortunately, I remember Ed Norton saying that the studio treated him like **** around the time of Hulk's opening and that he'd never work for them again.

May 9 - 06:47 PM

Yea, but I read an interview with Norton recently where he said he's open to Avengers depending on the script. He even lobbied for Letterier to direct it. I honestly think Norton will return to the role. I mean, he'd be a fool not to, right? Regardless if The Avengers ends up being any good (which I think it will), it is going to a HUGE event. Also, from a filmmaking perspective, The Avengers will be the first "multi-franchise mega-movie". I'd imagine that prospect would be appealing to Norton, who is also a fan of the comics himself.

May 9 - 07:48 PM

Except Norton's also never been one to always go for big commercial roles. He may do it because he likes the project, and the addition of his talent (which is considerable) may save the movie if it's bad, but I don't see him going for it just because it's "big."

May 9 - 10:30 PM

So i guess it was cut from the film, just like that "You complete me" scene we all saw in the trailer.

May 9 - 05:34 PM

and his reply to "Is it dirty enough for you?" Probably have to wait for the Blu Ray.

May 10 - 04:46 AM

awesome. IRON MAN 2 was really good, even though in my opinion it was missing alot of what made the first so good, it was still good. it was alot more darker. funnier but alot of storylines that made me get a headache. i give it a score of 80%, but i know that the 3rd and final film will be great and better then this one. to bad for babies, it looked like a cute and great mothers day flik. how to train your dragon is doin well. but ye. IRON MAN 2 is a great film and all u guys got to watch it. (y)(y)

May 9 - 05:54 PM

Typical for a superhero movie- and the hype from the first- but the second was poorly directed and written, and the CGI was a bit much. Seemed more of an advertisement for The Avengers. It's all a business- so I would call the Iron Man series and the Avengers upcoming film a success, but quality isn't there.

With that said, Inception trailer looks amazing and will be more of a complete, well-written and well-directed film. Nolan never disappoints- whether it be Memento, Insomnia, Batman Begins, The Prestige or The Dark Knight, Nolan has been the director of the last decade and has yet to put out a disappointing film.

May 9 - 05:56 PM

You are pathetic Jhawkins, Nolan has not been the director of the decade, he had one good movie, and a ton of average to mediocre movies. Inception looks dull as hell and ****ty. You fail.

Iron Man 2>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>TDK
Iron Man 2>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Inception

Iron Man 2 has a real director.

Go away troll.

May 9 - 06:27 PM

Why don't you spam his profile page? That'll teach the troll a lesson for posting such offensive comments!

May 9 - 07:17 PM

Why dont you stalk him like you do to me? Oh and the next time you try to insult someone use facts, Bye troll.

May 9 - 07:22 PM

Kicking the sh*t out of you is my new favorite pass time.

You complete me. Welcome back.

May 9 - 07:29 PM

You cant kick the **** out of me. Even with an army of people you would fail.

You are the captain of the Fail Boat.

May 9 - 07:36 PM

We'll see about that. You'll be sick of seeing my avatar under your name soon enough.

It's only a matter of time before you ***** up again and they ban you.

May 9 - 07:41 PM

The faaaiiilllll boat, exciting and newwwwwww.

May 10 - 04:48 AM

@Captain of Team Cutler

Oh wow, you have an opinion like everyone else does.

*clap clap clap*

Seriously, that's just amazing. I want to personally sent you a gift for having an opinion. That's so great.

May 9 - 07:40 PM

Excuse me, I meant "send" in that last part.

Again, congratulations. You deserve top honors.

May 9 - 07:41 PM

Garbage movie made by a childish production company- Disney. I prefer Cinderella over soft Iron Man made mainly in CGI. Combination of Spiderman 3 and Transformers 2.

May 9 - 07:40 PM

This is the youth of America?

We're all screwed.

May 9 - 10:05 PM

Loved IM2, more than the original, it was just a great film all around. Also saw Elm street, and while it wasn't near as good as the original, I thought it was decent and far from being as bad as critics said. I'd place it right in the middle of the Freddy series.

May 9 - 06:10 PM

I more than got my money's worth with IM2. No, it was not poorly directed or written. It was tight, character-driven but with as much eye-winking fun as one can have with the genre. It felt a bit rushed at times, and with the Avenger storyline, a bit heavy handed (in trying to set up the Avengers movie) but at least Favreau still knows how to entertain an audience for two hours. It's a shame he can't direct that other movie franchise about fighting robots... you know the one where you can't tell what the frak you're watching during the action scenes.

And I have to disagree with the comment that Super 8 left much to be desired. A) I barely knew about this project B) Was blown away by what little I saw and C) am intrigued to know more. In an information age that is saturated by too much knowledge and overkill, it's nice to have a J.J. Abrams or Chris Nolan who still understand that good showmanship means LESS is MORE.

May 9 - 06:16 PM

Isn't Super 8 just Cloverfield 2?

And I couldn't agree more with your assessment of Iron Man 2. Completely agree.

May 9 - 10:07 PM

It may just be the next chapter for Cloverfield, but you cant deny that the general premise sounds quite intriguing?

May 10 - 03:41 AM

Iron 2 was well made and the people who say it as a horrible film are just being ridiculous and ignore them. Cutler, that was directed to you ;-0.

In regards to the preview of Super 8;i laughed out loud when I say the trailer. Not because it looks bad( I can tell you im gonna watch it), but because I\it was easy to catch onto JJ Abrams style. The whole preview had JJ style written all over it. Reason i laughed was because right after the Speilberg producer credit, i said out loud to my girl, with a serious tone, "and from director JJ Abrams." Well we both laughed really hard when that credit came up a second later,probably to the dismay of other moviegoers. Just thought it was funny because JJ is all about the mystery, which is very good in imo.

May 10 - 04:03 PM

You had to bring Cutlery into this? Now he's going to get mad and whine about something or other and we'll never have a minute of peace. So before the tirade starts I'll just say I love JJ Abrams and am looking forward to whatever his new film turns out to be.

May 10 - 05:35 PM

kick ass movie deserves to be on top

May 9 - 06:17 PM

Iron Man 2 was amazing. Not as good as the first but still an amazing ride and better than so many other superhero movies. I loved the action, graphics, suits, and of course Robert Downy Jr. Though I felt there was too many storylines going on at once. They should have either focused on Demon in a Bottle or the Armors, but not tried to do both. Because of the many stories it made little since that Rhodey's would be so upset at Tony, Black Widow was wasted, Happy didn't need to be in the finale, and Whiplash was underused outside of his first battle. Otherwise I felt it was a great way to expand the characters. I would definitely see it again.

May 9 - 06:20 PM

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