Weekend Wrap-Up

Iron Man 3 Avenges Box Office

By John Hamann

May 5, 2013


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Given the huge debut, where does Iron Man 3 finish domestically? That’s a very tough question to answer at this point. We know Iron Man 2 opened to $128.1 million and finished with $312.4 million. We also know the reviews were better for Iron Man 3 than Iron Man 2. Iron Man 3 currently has a 78% fresh rating at RottenTomatoes, with 70% fresh from "top critics". Iron Man 2 was 73% fresh overall, but only 61% fresh from Top Critics. Both films received the coveted "A" Cinemascore. Iron Man 2 earned an open-to-domestic multiplier of 2.44. The original earned a 3.23, while The Avengers earned a 3.0. A 2.6 open-to-domestic total will take Iron Man 3 over the $455 million mark, which would be enough for Iron Man to become one of the seven most popular domestic releases of all time. A top five finish on this list is a distinct possibility as well. Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace currently holds down that spot with $474.5 million.

The Friday night gross for Iron Man 3 roughly doubled what the rest of the top ten films earned over the entire weekend. Last weekend’s top film, Michael Bay’s Pain & Gain was second, and like all Michael Bay films, it got trounced in its second frame. Pain & Gain could earn only $7.6 million, which means it dropped 62% from its debut last weekend. The Paramount release cost only $26 million to make, and with a gross so far of $33.9 million, no one is going to get hurt.

Third is 42 from Warner Bros., which is now in its fourth weekend. The Jackie Robinson biopic picked up another $6.2 million and fell 42%, which isn’t bad considering the towering achievement of Iron Man 3. This small $40 million effort has now earned an impressive $78.3 million, and should continue as effective counter-programming for a few more weekends.

Definitely NOT proving to be effective counter-programming is Tom Cruise and Oblivion, as the sci-fi tale got spanked by Iron Man 3 (that’s gotta hurt). Oblivion earned only $5.8 million from domestic theaters and dropped a painful 67% from its $17.8 million take last weekend. All of a sudden, the $120 million Universal feature is in heaps of trouble domestically, but will be bailed out by international audiences. Oblivion has now earned $76 million domestically, but over $135 million overseas.

The Croods, which is starting to feel like it’s been around as long as its stone age characters, finishes fifth. In its seventh weekend, the hit from DreamWorks Animation and Fox pulled in another $4.2 million. Down 37%, the animated feature now has a domestic total of $168.7 million, and an overseas gross that has surpassed $300 million, all against a production budget of $120 million.


Last weekend’s opener The Big Wedding failed to perform as effective female counter-programming, mainly because it is simply not very good. After debuting to $7.6 million last weekend, the Lionsgate release fell 49% to $3.9 million this weekend. The $35 million film now has a domestic cume of $14.2 million and is already out of the top five. It will also be out of the top ten soon enough.

Seventh is Mud, the art house feature from Roadside Attractions. Mud, which stars Mathew McConaughey, opened last weekend to $2.2 million from only 363 venues. This weekend, that count rises to 576 theatres, and it again earned $2.2 million. The well-reviewed flick now has a gross of $5.2 million.

Eighth goes to Oz The Great Powerful, which is showing signs of being effective counter-programming. After finishing in 13th last weekend with $1.8 million, the other Disney release in the top ten again earned $1.8 million, thereby becoming the only wide release in the top ten to drop less than 37%. Oz has a gross so far of $228.6 million domestically, and has taken in a similar amount overseas.

Ninth and tenth goes to the also-rans, Scary Movie 5 and The Place Beyond the Pines. Scary Movie 5 earned $1.4 million this weekend and dropped 58% while the indie flick took in $1.3 million and fell 52%. Scary Movie 5, which cost a frugal $20 million to make, has earned $29.6 million domestically and another $20 million overseas. Pines has earned $18.7 million domestically against a $15 million production budget. Yes, the Focus Features release was only $5 million cheaper than The Weinstein Co.'s offering, but it also lacked the branding advantage that the Scary Movie franchise provides. The Place Beyond the Pines is easily the bigger success story.

Overall, Iron Man 3 solves all problems coming from a weak 2013 at the box office, but the combined top 12 can’t keep up to last year over the same weekend, as that’s when The Avengers landed. This year, the top 12 earned $212.2 million, whereas last year, the top 12 produced $249.7 million, $207.4 million of it coming from The Avengers. Next weekend will be interesting again. Leonardo DiCaprio opens Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby (in 3D, naturally) and Tyler Perry Presents Peeples (but doesn’t direct).

Top Weekend Box Office for 5/3/13-5/5/13 (Estimates)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 Iron Man 3 $175,300,000 New $175,300,000
2 Pain & Gain PARAMOUNT $7,600,000 - 62% $33,919,000
3 42 WARNER BROS. $6,210,000 - 42% $78,336,000
4 Oblivion UNIVERSAL $5,796,700 - 67% $75,968,615
5 The Croods DreamWorks $4,225,000 - 37% $168,743,200
6 The Big Wedding Lions Gate $3,875,000 - 49% $14,209,565
7 Mud Roadside Attractions $2,200,000 - 1% $5,200,000
8 Oz: the Great And Powerful WALT DISNEY $1,822,000 + 1% $228,568,000
9 Scary Movie v Weinstein Co. $1,435,000 - 58% $29,603,308
10 The Place Beyond the Pines Focus Features $1,297,934 - 52% $18,678,347
11 G.i. Joe: Retaliation PARAMOUNT $1,275,000 - 66% $118,757,000
12 Olympus Has Fallen Filmdistrict $1,185,000 - 59% $95,364,879
  Also Opening/Notables
  The Iceman Millennium $93,149 New $93,149
  Cinco De Mayo: La Batalla Lionsgate $70,000 New $70,000
  Love Is All You Need Sony Classics $38,954 New $38,954
  Scatter My Ashes At Bergdorf's Entertainment One $38,294 New $38,294
  What Maise Knew Millennium $23,248 New $23,248
  The Reluctant Fundementalist IFC Films $85,000 + 175% $127,500
  Kon0tiki Weinstein Co. $78,324 + 253% $111,500
  At Any Price Sony Classics $32,272 + 101% $61,458
  Midnight's Children Paladin/108 Media $22,832 + 87% $37,098
  Filly Brown Lionsgate $164,000 - 71% $2,598,424
  In the House Cohen Media $49,401 + 58% $140,178
  Jurassic Park 3d UNIVERSAL $882,000 - 63% $43,741,985
  The Company You Keep Sony Classics $777,240 - 33% $3,506,411
  Evil Dead SONY $625,000 - 69% $53,200,000
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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