SUNDAY AM: Here are the official blockbuster numbers — Paramount Pictures release of Marvel Studios’ Iron Man, in 4,105 theaters, made an estimated $35,125,000 on Friday 5/2, an estimated $37,500,000 on Saturday 5/3, for an estimated 3-day weekend box office of $100,750,000. Advance screenings in select locations, about 2,500 venues, from 8:00 PM to midnight on Thursday 5/1 contributed an additional $3,500,000. With this addition, the total estimated box office is $104,250,000. The estimated international box office for the weekend is $96,750,000 from 57 territories. The total combined estimated global box office for Marvel Studios’ Iron Man is $201,000,000.
“It beat Will Smith and Jesus!” gushed a Paramount insider referring to the openings of I Am Legend and The Passion Of The Christ. “It’s just mind-blowing. Internally, some people were going into high 80sM and low 90sM but people were laughing at them. We had our own box office poll and maybe one person thought $100M.” The monster numbers now make Iron Man the second biggest 3-day release for a non-sequel in the history of Hollywood, behind only Sony’s first Spider-Man. It’s also the No. 10 movie opening weekend and the No. 4 superhero movie weekend of all time. The $140 million production self-financed by Marvel was also distibutor Paramount’s biggest live action opening of all time. I understand that, at first, Paramount thought Thursday’s advance screenings generated $5 million, but then discovered that $1.7 million ended up being for 12:01 AM shows so that money went towards Friday gross.
The other major movie opening, Sony’s Made Of Honor starring Patrick Dempsey, did respectably for 2nd place: it opened to $5.6M Friday and $6M Saturday from 2,729 venues for a $15.5M weekend. Audiences were skewed female (68%) and older (62% were ages 25+). “Given the competition with Iron Man, we are very pleased with the results of our counter programming,” a Sony Pictures spokesman said. “The movie was produced for under $40 million and is another in a string of moderately-budgeted, commercial films that will perform well for the studio.”
The rest of the Top 10:
No. 3 — Baby Mama/Universal, $10.3M weekend, $33.2M cume
No. 4 — Forgetting Sarah Marshall/Universal, $6.1M weekend, $44.8M cume
No. 5 — Harold & Kumar Guantanamo Bay/Warner, $6M weekend, $25.2M cume
No. 6 — The Forbidden Kingdom/Lionsgate, $4.2M weekend, $45.1M cume
No. 7 — Nim’s Island/Fox, $2.7M weekend, $42.5M cume
No. 8 — Prom Night/Sony, $2.5M weekend, $41.4M cume
No. 9 — 21/Sony, $2.1M weekend, $79M cume
No. 10 — 88 Minutes/Sony, $1.6M weekend, $15.4M cume
SATURDAY PM: An insider just told me that Marvel’s Iron Man has made at least $100 million for the 3 1/2 days of its opening release in North America. “We’re having a fantastic Saturday,” a source relays. “Most movies in this genre fall Friday to Saturday. Not this one!!!” The total wildly exceeded what Marvel, which self-financed the $140 million production cost, and distributor Paramount thought would be the comic book movie’s realistic take from 4,105 theaters during its debut. I’m told the PG-13 pic also took in a monster $50 million overseas from nearly 50 foreign territories.
For my main story with all the background and analysis, go here.