Friday Box Office Analysis
By Tim Briody
May 3, 2008

Robert Downey Jr. is king of the world.

Plenty of people put down Grand Theft Auto IV for a few hours to check out [tm:995_]Iron Man[/tm] on Friday. The summer movie season has begun.

Iron Man

$32.8 million is what the [bp:5276_]Robert Downey Jr.[/bp] comic book adaptation earned Friday. This is not counting anything earned on Thursday, which was about $5.5 million. The Friday tally is, in a word, outstanding. This is the third highest opening day ever fo a non-sequel (behind the untouchable $39.4 million by Spider-Man on this weekend six (!!) years ago and the $33.5 million Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone).

Reviews are virtually positive across the board and that could potentially help the weekend multiplier slightly, but it's really difficult to sustain this kind of momentum when dealing with numbers this large. It's even older than Spider-Man (an anomoly with 2.91), but I like 2000's X-Men's 2.54 for a comparison for Iron Man. I'll nudge it up to 2.6 based on the reviews, and that would give it $85.2 million for the weekend. Add in what was earned on Thursday, and the headlines will have that nice, round $90 million figure.

Made of Honor

The McDreamy-led counter-programming attempt Made of Honor acquits itself nicely with $5.5 million. For a My Best Friend's Wedding retread, this is not bad at all. Look for a weekend of $15.9 million and for everyone to forget how much this movie actually made the next time Patrick Dempsey is cast as the romantic lead.

Notable Holdovers

The comedy triumvirate of [tm:4201_]Baby Mama[/tm] (46%), Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay (65%) and [tm:3874_]Forgetting Sarah Marshall[/tm] (43%) drop about what you'd expect due to the cultishness of the middle film and all of them generally being overshadowed by Iron Man. Give them $10.3 million, $5.8 million and $6.1 million respectively.