Friday Box Office Analysis

By Tim Briody

May 8, 2010

The beautiful people, the beautiful people.

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The makers of Iron Man 2 totally left some money on the table by not making it 3D.

Iron Man 2

The first true heavy hitter of 2010 is finally here (anyone who thought that at this point in the year we'd have a $300 million film in Alice in Wonderland, raise your hand. Didn't think so.) and with it we get to wheel out the magic numbers of $72.7 million (biggest day ever) and $158.4 million (biggest weekend ever). With the trend of sequels exploding compared to the establishing films, a lot of eyes, not to mention the most screens ever, are on Iron Man 2 to set the stage for what Hollywood hopes is a big summer.

New Moon's opening day record is easily safe as what we've got for Iron Man 2 is a Friday take of $52.4 million, with $7.5 million attributed to midnight showings. As is customary for the purposes of extrapolation, that figure is removed from multiplier discussions an added back in at the end. The $52.4 million falls well short of even making the list of top five single days. It takes at least $58.2 million to knock Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince off of that list. So while that's somewhat disappointing on the surface, and also takes The Dark Knight's record off the table, it's hard to shed tears for the seventh largest single day ever.

On this weekend two years ago, Iron Man debuted with about $38.7 and $5.5 million attributed to midnight sneaks. It finished with a remarkable $102.1 million weekend. Remove the midnight showings from the Friday take and the weekend multiplier was approximately 2.9. This was impressive considering the size of the opening day. In the era of the massive day one take and low 2 weekend multipliers, it was quite the surprise. It's tough to break out of the mid-2's as the Friday figure rises because then you're looking at pushing the Saturday/Sunday box office record, which belongs to the Dark Knight and Spider-Man 3 share with $91 million.


We're using the figure of $44.9 million to try to figure out the rest of the weekend. A 2.9 multiplier, which is what Iron Man managed, would be a weekend of $138.7 million and a Friday-Saturday of $85.3 million, which would give it third place among Saturday/Sunday box office takes. Looking at some of the other top five weekends (of which Iron Man 2 should end up around fourth or fifth), Shrek the Third earned $83.2 million while Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man's Chest earned about $80 million. New Moon, meanwhile, fell off to $70 million, which didn't even match its Friday. While we throw that one out when we talk about real movies, we'll be revisiting that one when Eclipse is released, don't worry.

While the growth in box office was not as massive as some analysts had thought, it's hard to expand all that much when you're starting with a $100 million opening. If we bump Iron Man 2's weekend multiplier to 2.8, we've got a weekend of $125.7 million (with $80.8 million on Saturday/Sunday). Add in the midnight takes and it's a weekend of $133.2 million for Iron Man 2, good for fifth place all time.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Meriting special mention in the face of Iron Man 2 is last week's champ, the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street. It's special because it earned $3.3 million on Friday, which is down 79% from last Friday. Yes, that just happened. $8.5 million is probably the best it can hope for in its second weekend, although it was already profitable after last weekend.

Projected Estimates for the Top Ten (Three-Day)
Estimated Gross
1 Iron Man 2 133.2
2 A Nightmare on Elm Street 8.5
3 How to Train Your Dragon 6.3
4 Date Night 4.9
5 The Back-Up Plan 4.5
6 Furry Vengeance 3.2
7 Clash of the Titans 2.3
8 The Losers 1.8
9 Death at a Funeral 1.8
10 Kick-Ass 1.5



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