Weekend Wrap-Up

Gatsby Great Against Iron Man 3

By John Hamann

May 12, 2013

Soon this will be a challenge on The Amazing Race.

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How do you celebrate last weekend’s $174 million opening of Iron Man 3? Have a Baz Luhrmann money party starring Leonardo DiCaprio!

The big opener of the weekend is The Great Gatsby, from Moulin Rouge! and Romeo + Juliet director Baz Luhrmann, but pretty much anything opening in the wake of Iron Man 3 was going to be relegated to second this weekend, as the odds were solid for at least a $70 million second weekend for the Marvel superhero. The only other opener was Tyler Perry Presents Peeples, which had promise as it starred Craig Robinson of The Office. Tyler Perry didn’t direct, but unfortunately it got sent to the cheap seats this weekend, as Perry failed to show up in drag. It leaves us with a very top heavy box office, where the top two combine for more than $120 million, and the other eight can barely muster $20 million. If I am Star Trek Into Darkness, I am licking my box office chops right now.

Our number one film of the weekend is Iron Man 3. Gatsby never really had a chance. The Robert Downey Jr. three-quel was never in doubt for number one. The only question was how big it would be in frame number two. After a Friday where it was off 71% from its opening day (plus Thursday night), Iron Man 3 was fantastic over the rest of the weekend, earning a three-day total of $72.5 million for a drop of 58%. A 50% drop off would have matched the second weekend of The Avengers, and modeled $87 million for Iron Man 3's second frame. As we saw last weekend, though, Iron Man 3 is not (quite) The Avengers, but only buoyed by it.


With this weekend result, we can now say with confidence that Iron Man 3 will not earn a half-billion domestically. The Avengers earned 60% of its domestic total during its first 10 days. Iron Man 3 is not matching that pace, which would extrapolate to $475 million. Iron Man 3 will easily clear the $400 million mark and has a good shot at $450 million, though. Overseas this weekend, where the film has already earned more than a half-billion prior to the frame, Iron Man 3 continued to be strong, earning another $89.3 million, thereby bringing its foreign total up to a remarkable $664.1 million. Domestically, the Shane Black sequel has earned $284.9 million. With a global take of $949 million, Iron Man 3 will be joining the exclusive billion dollar club by the middle of the week. The latest Marvel tentpole is a mortal lock to become one of the five most popular global releases of all-time, needing only $180 million more worldwide to reach that milestone.

The success of Iron Man 3, and The Avengers for that matter, is going to push costs up for future Marvel productions. There’s been a lot of noise in the media this week as to how much Downey was paid for The Avengers ($50 million) and Iron Man 3 (likely $35 million after the final box office is tallied). There are rumors of other Avengers actors being paid a pittance while Downey scored, and that will push the other actors toward higher paydays for Avengers 2, as well as other films coming out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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