May 6, 2008

Box Office Update 5/2-5/4: Iron Man Explodes Onto the Screen

In just one weekend Iron Man became the second film of 2008 to reach the $100 million mark, joining Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!. It has also owns the tenth largest opening weekend tally in the history of film (well, at least until the new Indiana Jones, and possibly The Dark Knight arrive), very nearly clearing the century mark. I cannot say that I am disappointed, the film is fantastic and once the warm glow of its release dies down I am sure that it will be considered among the better superhero films. I know many are already saying it, but time will be the ultimate judge. It features a good story, a fun atmosphere, and a fantastic lead performance from Robert Downey Jr. The summer season is here.

There was only one other film entering wide release this weekend, the romantic comedy Made of Honor. The movie stars a pair of likable personalities in Patrick Dempsey and Michelle Monaghan. It did moderately well to finish second place, although it is not one that will be remembered for very long. I cannot recommend it because of its flawed premise. It has a high concept that could be funny, but it is too grounded in reality and the central character is not likable enough to root for. Well, it is not so much Dempsey isn't likable enough, but the womanizing guy he plays is not worthy of someone as likable as the character played by Monaghan. I suspect it will be hurt next week when it goes head to head with What Happens In Vegas, which falls in the same genre.

Among the returning films, The Forbidden Kingdom suffered the biggest percentage drop, over 62%. I like the film, and hope that all who want to see it, have. It is not what I had hoped it would be, but it is still an absolute blast. Following close on its falling heels is the Al Pacino bust 88 Minutes. This thriller slipped just under 62%. This does not surprise me, the movie is not all that good.

At the other end of the spectrum, Nam's Island and Baby Mama duked it out for the smallest drop, both in the vicinity of 42%. The rest of the returners fall in between these points. So, for the most part it was a pretty flat weekend, mostly due to overflow audiences from sold out Iron Man screenings.

Next week sees the release of The Wachowski's first directorial effort since the final Matrix film, Speed Racer. I must say that I am intrigued, but cannot really say what is going on from the candy-colored trailers. Also opening is the romcom What Happens In Vegas, featuring Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher. David Mamet's MMA drama, Redbelt, expands to 1,000 theaters, although I doubt it will have much of an impact. I'm still interested.

Two movies dropped off the top ten this week: Horton Hears a Who! (11) and Deception (13).

This WeekLast WeekTitleWknd GrossOverallWeek in release
1NIron Man$98,618,668$102,118,6681
2NMade of Honor$14,756,850$14,756,8501
31Baby Mama$10,065,010$32,062,4802
42Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay$6,114,373$25,369,3372
54Forgetting Sarah Marshall$6,059,920$44,732,3403
63The Forbidden Kingdom$4,187,897$45,112,3033
75Nim's Island$2,677,543$42,471,6605
86Prom Night$2,403,313$41,350,7314
10888 Minutes$1,545,084$15,368,9253

Box Office Predictions Recap
I guess I was just a little bit short. I knew that Iron Man would do well, but not quite this well. I did not suspect that it would reach six figures. However, I cannot say that I am disappointed. I mean, I have already seen it twice, and judging by some people I spoke to on Saturday afternoon, I was not alone in that fact. As far as the rest of the top ten, I did a pretty good job at getting the placings correct, with a couple minor exceptions. I was a little further off on the dollar guesses, but not terrible (except Iron Man).

Here is how the field matched up:

ActualPredictionTitleWknd GrossPrediction
11Iron Man$98,618,668$85 million
22Made of Honor$14,756,850$18 million
33Baby Mama$10,065,010$9 million
44Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay$6,114,373$7.5 million

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

$6,059,920$7 million
66The Forbidden Kingdom$4,187,897$6 million
77Nim's Island$2,677,543$3.5 million
9821$2,002,471$3 million
89Prom Night$2,403,313$2.5 million
101088 Minutes$1,545,084$2 million


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