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SATURDAY PM/SUNDAY AM: What a big boys weekend, with only a bit of counter-programming. (Don’t worry gals, Sex And The City arrives May 27th.) Here are some early domestic box office grosses for the Top 10 movies for Friday, Saturday, weekend & cume. Numbers will be refined in the morning:

1. IRON MAN 2 (Marvel/Paramount) Week 2 [4,390 Runs]
Friday $15.2M (-70%), Saturday $21M, Weekend $49M, Cume $208.5M

The original did $51M on its 2nd weekend, which was -50%.

2. ROBIN HOOD (Universal) NEW [3,503 Runs]
Friday $14.9M, Saturday $13.7M, Weekend $36M, Cume $209M

robin_hood_2010_posterUPDATE: Robin Hood is the No. 1 film in the world this weekend, with $75.7M international, other than North America. Domestically, it’s only No. 2. Well, Robert Downey Jr was playing in 887 more North American theaters than Russell Crowe. And it was always predicted that Ridley Scott’s pic would post almost double the numbers overseas, especially in Europe, than in the U.S. and Canada. And it’s hard to compare cool comic book gadgetry to bows & arrows. Still, this is a mediocre domestic start even with lowered expectations, but the international will help offset the 2D film’s ridiculous $225M budget. Partly financed by Relativity Media, the production budget for Robin Hood is said by the studio to really be $155M after tax credits and other savings. Still, the lower figure doesn’t include the costlier-than-usual startup costs because of several missteps by then Universal Pictures chairman Marc Shmuger. (One of the reasons he lost his job.). Even though Robin Hood was smartly positioned visually and thematically between Gladiator and Braveheart, it suffered here from too many prior film versions of this tired tale. Helped by its Cannes Festival premiere hoopla, international  is roughly 15% ahead of Sherlock Holmes, another oft told story, in the same markets. The studio hopes the pic could do well north of $200M. The comp Sherlock did $265M using today’s exchange rate.  

3. LETTERS TO JULIET  (Summit) NEW [2,968 Runs]
Friday $5M, Saturday $5.3M, Weekend $13.2M

This sappy film which nevertheless received an “A-” Cinemascore was targeted for female audiences as counter programming against Robin Hood and Iron Man 2. But it’s underperforming after tracking suggested it would open in the high teens. I hear the budget for the film was $30M but after rebates, incentives and strong foreign pre-sales (Summit’s specialty), the studio is exposed for only half that cost.

4. JUST WRIGHT (Fox Searchlight) NEW [1,831 Runs]
Friday $2.8M, Saturday $3.4M, Weekend $8.2M

This low-budget rom com in an NBA milieu was always expected to open modestly. Searchlight produced this $12.5M film starring Queen Latifah and Common and handled marketing but, since it’s a wide release for the specialty house, big Fox handled domestic distribution. Searchlight hopes to capitalize on the 2nd round of the NBA playoffs with Dwight, Kobe, and Lebron possibly making it into the next round.

Friday $1.5M, Saturday $1.9M, Weekend $4.6M, Cume $56M

6. DATE NIGHT (Fox) Week 6 [2,481]
Friday $1.2M, Estimated Weekend $4.0, Estimated Cume $36.6M

7. HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON (DWA/Par) Week 8 [2,620]
Friday $1.1M, Estimated Weekend $5.2M, Estimated Cume $207.7M 

8. THE BACK-UP PLAN (CBS Films/Sony) Week 4 [2,497]
Friday $785K, Estimated Weekend $2.5M, Estimated Cume $34.2M

9. FURRY VENGEANCE (Summit) Week 2 [2,695]
Friday $525K, Estimated Weekend $2.1M, Estimated Cume $40M

10. CLASH OF THE TITANS (Warner Bros) Week 7 [1,300]
Friday $330K, Estimated Cume $1.1M, Estimated Cume $160M 

EXCLUSIVE THURSDAY 8AM: Sources are telling me this $6 million is “on the high end” of Universal’s expectations for Robin Hood‘s debut abroad after all that opening hoopla at the Cannes Film Festival. (CANNES: Not All Aquiver For ‘Robin Hood’?) The problem is not that the movie will tank: it just cost too much. It’s expected to do very well around the globe, probably $45M or even $50M domestic in 3,503 North American theaters this opening weekend, and twice that number overseas from 6,945 theaters.

The studio released the film in 3 countries yesterday — France, Belgium, and the French-speaking side of Switzerland — and did paid previews in a handful of others. France did a big $1.1M. (That’s on a par with Mummy 3, 40% ahead of Angels & Demons, 50% ahead of Benjamin Button, and 70% ahead of Sherlock Holmes. What a weird sequence of comps.). Belgium did $200K (136% higher than Iron Man 2, 127% higher than Gladiator, 98% above Inglourious Basterds, 131% higher than Sherlock Holmes). Switzerland was ahead of Gladiator and Sherlock Holmes.

The pic previewed in other markets including the UK, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden and several smaller territories. UK did $1.2m which is more than double Bourne Ultimatum, and advance ticket sales for the weekend are said to be “incredibly strong”. Russia did $960K. Italy did $660K in limited shows. Germany took in $550K, or 148% of Iron Man 2 and 156% of Iron Man. Austria did $73K from one show per location, 53% more than Gladiator on the same basis. Sweden was 32% ahead of Iron Man 2.