Weekend Wrap-Up for May 14-16, 2010

Robin Hood On Target; Iron Man 2 Slips

By John Hamann

May 16, 2010

Pepper wants to be alone with the helmet, which we're guessing vibrates.

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The summer calendar didn't give Iron Man 2 a leg up either. The second weekend of the summer season is notorious for the letdown, as this frame usually follows some sort of gargantuan opener, or a blockbuster opens and tends to hide trouble underneath the number one film. Last year, it was Angels and Demons, opening softly at $46.2 million (the weekend was propped up by the second weekend of Star Trek). In 2008, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian imploded, opening to only $55 million (the overall box office was propped up by the second weekend of the original Iron Man). In 2007, Spider-Man 3 was supposed to be enjoying its second weekend, but as mentioned above, it plunged 62%, and the bad news didn't end there. Four other openers (with more than 1,000 screens) debuted that weekend, and none grossed more than $10 million, including the sequel to 28 Days Later. Finally in 2006, the entire box office fell apart, with the top 12 films earning only $85 million, thanks to the implosion of Poseidon and Mission: Impossible 3.

Russell Crowe and Robin Hood finish second, and despite an opening in the mid-$30 millions, I still think Universal, Crowe and Ridley Scott are getting away with one here. The $200 million-budgeted Robin Hood opened to only $37.1 million from 3,503 venues, or about 900 fewer than Iron Man 2. With a star who is nuts, reviews that were soft, and a critical reception at Cannes that resembled a golf clap, Universal should be happy that this one didn't go in the sink. It never really mattered about the domestic gross of Robin Hood anyway, as this one is going to clean up overseas, crappy or not. Robin Hood was 45% fresh at RottenTomatoes, and the marketing didn't draw oohs and ahhs, that's for sure.


For Russell Crowe, this Robin Hood carries a better result than his last couple of films, and will be his first non-flop in more than a while. His last two flicks disappointed: State Of Play opened to $14.1 million and finished with just $37 million for Universal, against a budget of $60 million (worldwide gross was $91 million, so it may have been a push for Universal). Body of Lies, also made with Ridley Scott, opened to $12.9 million for Warner Bros. in 2008. It finished just short of $40 million with a production budget of $70 million (again, the worldwide cume almost saved this one, as it earned $75 million overseas). Since 2003, Russell Crowe had only one film open over $18.5 million. That was American Gangster, where he took second billing to Denzel Washington, who should really be thanked for the big opening and $130 million domestic gross. Bad flops for Crowe over the last ten years include Proof of Life ($10.2 million opening, $32.6 million domestic finish, $65 million budget); Cinderella Man ($18.3 million opening, $61 million finish, $90 million budget); A Good Year ($3.7 million opening, $7.5 million domestic finish, $35 million budget). This guy is definitely not the best bet in the movie going world, and it surprised me than Universal would gamble on him for a star driven, summer event picture that could be franchised.

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