Weekend Wrap-Up for May 7-9, 2010

Iron Man 2 Gives Summer Strong Star(k)t

By John Hamann

May 9, 2010

Mmm...donuts. Is there nothing they can't do?

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For all the players in involved in the making and distribution of Iron Man 2, the biggest winner ends up being Marvel Entertainment and Marvel Studios, and in a way Disney, despite Iron Man 2 being distributed by Paramount. Disney purchased Marvel Studios for $4 billion, and while it doesn't make a nickel from distribution, the mouse house will see a cash infusion of $300 to $400 million from Marvel's take of the box office, as well as from all the merchandising and tie ins from this very successful picture. The Hollywood Reporter said that Paramount is distributing for a fee of 8% of box office revenue (after theaters take their share), which will still be a bonanza, as there was little risk involved for Paramount. The budget for Iron Man 2 came in at around $170 million, with likely another $75 million devoted to domestic prints and advertising. This is a tiny amount compared to what this comic book entry is going to earn over its run. The original Iron Man posted an open to domestic finish multiplier of 3.12, and while the sequel will not likely have that same multiplier, a 2.9 will put it around the $350 million domestic mark. International grosses are where the big difference will come with the sequel – the original made "only" $264 million the last time out – the sequel, which opened a week earlier than on domestic shores, had already earned $140 million before IM2 opened domestically. By the time you read this, the international gross for the sequel will have outgrossed the original (already), with a cume around $300 million from international cinemas.


The rest of the box office top ten is really a side note to the weekend. A Nightmare on Elm Street – The Reboot finishes second this weekend, and it is with great pleasure that I tell you that this Nightmare, the real nightmare, fell a nasty 72% this weekend, for a gross of only $9.2 million. It's too bad this one found the success it did last weekend ($32.9 million opening), as I would have loved to see Michael Bay and partners fail miserably as they crash another beloved '80s franchise into the ground – first Transformers and now this. Sadly, this Nightmare on Elm Street cost Warner Bros. only $35 million to make, and likely another $15 million on prints and advertising. With a gross so far of $48.5 million, the Jackie Earle Haley flick will end up in the win column, whether I like it or not.

Third spot goes to that plucky How To Train Your Dragon, which is now in its seventh weekend of release, and is still in the top three – an impressive feat regardless of gross. Dragon, from DreamWorks Animation, earned another $6.8 million and dropped 36%. While that is the biggest drop of its run so far, obviously no other weekend has seen a $100 million plus opener show up. Dragon crosses the $200 million mark today, its 45th day of release. It has a domestic total so far of $201.1 million – already more than 4.5 times its opening weekend. With Dragon, the 3D angle didn't help its opening, but it certainly helped its legs.

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