Monday Morning Quarterback Part II

By BOP Staff

May 1, 2013

I was the number one pick at the 2013 NFL draft. Do you know my name?

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Kim Hollis: Are you surprised that Iron Man 3 has earned more in its first weekend overseas than The Avengers did internationally during its debut? How close do you think it will get domestically?

Brett Ballard-Beach: Yes, until I consider what some have noted - that it's almost like a de facto sequel to The Avengers and opening only a year later to boot. Domestically, I think it stands to gain the second highest opening weekend of all time and come in with about $175-180 million.

Jay Barney: I am a bit surprised that it is doing so well overseas, but then again the way these films are released in so many different countries alters the numbers a bit. The release outside the U.S. is substantial, there is no doubt about that.

It is hard to peg a number to where Iron Man will open domestically. I think it is a safe bet to say it opens larger than Iron Man 2, which was just short of $130 million. If it opens north of $135 million it earns a spot in the top 10 openings of all time, which is probably pretty likely. These are all huge numbers compared to the openings a decade ago, so this is a mark of how much the box office has changed. As we have discussed in a couple of MMQB columns, the box office has been depressed this year, so I think it is possible that Iron Man 3 opens well below Avengers' $207 million. Records are hard to beat, especially when they were just established a year ago. We can't forget about the buzz going into the Dark Knight rises, and for various reasons, that still had a huge opening - but even that wasn't close to Avengers.

My guess is that it manages to do very impressive business this weekend, potentially rivaling any of the films that have opened to more than $150 million. The openings of Spiderman 3, The Hunger Games, The Dark Knight Rises, and the last of the Harry Potters are all in play. There is a lot of energy behind this product, and the news from overseas is great press.

Iron Man 3 will probably open in the $175 million dollar range.


Edwin Davies: I'm a little surprised, but far less so than I would have been if Iron Man 3 was coming out directly after Iron Man 2. That sequel was pretty indifferently received in comparison to its predecessor, and although it wound up earning a very similar amount worldwide, there seemed to be a lot less enthusiasm for it. In normal circumstances, I would expect the buzz around a sequel to a disappointing predecessor to lead to diminishing returns.

Of course, things aren't entirely normal here, since between Iron Man 2 and 3 we have The Avengers, which I think did a huge amount to remind people why they like Tony Stark so much in the first place. I know that The Avengers was an ensemble piece, but Iron Man was kind of the central figure for the most part, and it's very apparent that the success of Whedon's entry in the Marvel universe has revitalized the series that started the whole process to begin with. It's also why we should probably see significant upticks for the Thor and Captain America sequels, though not to the extent that we will see for Iron Man 3.

Viewed as a sequel to The Avengers, released at the right time to capitalize on the warm buzz still left from that film, the results so far overseas are pretty much in line with what might be expected. That, coupled with the addition of 3D, will probably see a pretty big jump from the $125 million opening weekend of the second film. I'm leaning towards a 50% increase, so it will probably open in the $170-190 million range. With the reviews and general excitement, I would rule out it getting very close to what The Avengers managed last year, either.

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