Box Office Guru Wrapup: Iron Man 2 Tops Robin Hood

Letters to Juliet rounds out the top three.

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In a battle of dueling heroes, the man in the suit of iron defeated the English archer as Iron Man 2 held on in its second frame to take down Russell Crowe's Robin Hood, although Robin Hood did open at #1 internationally this weekend.

Falling 58.6% from its blockbuster opening, Paramount's Iron Man 2 collected an estimated $53M this weekend, bringing its cume to $212.1M. The second weekend was only $2M ahead of the original Iron Man which fell 48% from its opening weekend to $51.2M. Sequels are generally front-loaded so this second weekend fall was expected. With strong mid-week grosses, the weekend drops should start to level out over the next few weeks. After its first two weeks, Iron Man had grossed $177.8M on its way to a final total of $318.4M. If Iron Man 2 plays out in the same manner, it could end up with a final gross in the $350M range, which, while spectacular, would still be on the low end of pre-summer expectations.

Opening in second place with an estimated $37.1M was Robin Hood, the latest collaboration from Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott. This origin story of the famed 'steal from the rich, give to the poor' folk hero had a per screen average of $10,595 which was a little less than the Oscar-winning Gladiator had a little over 10 years ago. That movie opened with a nearly identical $34.8M on its way to a final gross $187.7M, and of course a bunch of Academy Awards. Don't expect Robin Hood to fare the same, at least in North America. Exit polls had the audience at 56% male and 63% at 30 years or older, with a CinemaScore grade of only a B-, meaning there will be rocky roads ahead. Internationally however, it was a different story as Robin Hood opened with $74M from 56 territories, making it the second biggest international opening for distributor Universal, behind only King Kong. That puts the total global opening at $111.1M. And just for the sake of fun, Kevin Costner's Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves opened in the summer of 1991 to $25.6M and a per screen average of $10,817 on its way to a $165.5M total. It could be a little embarassing to Crowe/Scott if their Robin Hood can't hit the same heights as Kevin Costner did nearly 20 years ago.

Also debuting this weekend was the romance Letters to Juliet which grossed an estimated $13.75M from 2,968 theaters, for a per screen average of $4,633. Starring Amanda Seyfried and Vanessa Redgrave, the Summit release, as one might expect, played 81% female with 63% of the audience being over 25. The film was a good counter product to the male-heavy action films and had a very strong CinemaScore of A- meaning good word of mouth could help propel this film to a strong finish.

The last of the three major films opening this weekend was the Queen Latifah starrer Just Wright. The romantic-comedy, which centers around a professional basketball player coming back from injury, opened with an estimated $8.5M and a per screen average of $4,642. The opening was decent, but not great, and should find a bigger audience on DVD for Fox Searchlight.

Landing in the top five again in its eight weekend of release was Dreamworks' How To Train Your Dragon which fell only 23% to $5.1M, according to estimates lifting the animation sensation to $207.7M. Falling 48% and landing in sixth place was Freddy Krueger and A Nightmare on Elm Street which slashed up an estimated $4.7M this weekend, bringing its cume to $56M.

The comedy pairing of Steve Carell and Tina Fey once again held on strongly, dropping only 26% from last weekend with Date Night, which grossed $4M, according to estimates, bringing its total to $86.7M. Fellow romantic-comedy The Back-up Plan hasn't fared nearly as well, falling this weekend by 51%, to an estimated $2.5M, bringing its disappointing cume to $34.2M.

Rounding out the top 10 were two films with opposite trajectories. Furry Vengeance ended up in the 9th spot this week with an estimated $2.3M bringing its total to $15.1M, while Clash of the Titans took in an estimated $1.3M bringing its total to a robust $160.2M.

The top ten films grossed $132.3M which was up 3% from last year when Angels & Demons opened in the top spot with $46.2M; and up 6% from 2008 when The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian opened at number one with $55M.

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