Box Office: $100 Million for Iron Man

The Reject Report: The Weekend of Iron Man

This was the weekend of Iron Man, all right. It was a dominant, crushing victory at the box office for the latest Marvel superhero success. It made not $80 million, not $90 million — but $100 million dollars!!!

Now you watch, Iron Man is going to be all the rage in these comic book shops. All these old Avenger comics starring this dude are going to go up in value by a massive amount now, thanks to the success of this movie. A star is born in the Marvel universe.

The momentum began for Iron Man on Thursday night as the flick rolled out on 2,500 sneak preview screens and took in a remarkable $5 million. It then went wide everywhere on Friday night on over 4,100 screens and made $32,500,000. By contrast, Made of Honor made only $5,400,000 that night.

Saturday and Sunday were a similar story as Iron Man ends this weekend with a haul of $100.7 million, the tenth biggest opening of all time and the fourth biggest superhero opening of all time. Iron Man is now expected to possibly be on track to be one of the top-grossing movies of the entire summer, behind only two or three other movies. It is already the biggest movie open of 2008 ahead of Horton Hears a Who! (no surprise) and is the highest box office draw of any Marvel character, with the lone exception of your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

In fact, the buzz has been through the roof this week. so much so that people were talking about a sequel to Iron Man before the movie even officially opened on Friday!! There were stories in the press with people talking sequel, and the picture hadn’t even rolled out yet! That’s how big a hit this movie was going to be. Everyone knew Paramount’s predictions of a $60 to $70 million haul were a bunch of baloney and that the studio was setting everyone up so that they could brag about how the box office exceeded expectations. Well, they sure exceeded mine, and even exceeded those of the optimists out there who were predicting $85 million for Iron Man. It topped those prognostications easily.

Why did Iron Man do so well? The fact that it’s the rollout of a new but still familiar character has a lot to do with it. It’s not some sequel, and that’s refreshing to a lot of people. But also, I think people have been waiting and waiting and waiting for months for the summer movie season to kick off and for the blockbusters to finally arrive. People have been sick and tired of wading through all this dreck at the box office for the last few months, stuff like 10,000 B.C., Fool’s Gold, Meet the Spartans and all this other junk. People were sick of this stuff and wanted to see a movie that promised some good special effects. So they all leaped at the chance to be part of the phenomenon that is Iron Man. And let’s face it, the rollout of summer movie season has a life of its own these days. It’s hyped up on all these websites, the studios are all psyched and into it, and people genuinely look forward to it.

Here are the damages:

1. Iron Man$100 million
2. Made of Honor$15.5 million
3. Baby Mama$10.3 million
4. Forgetting Sarah Marshall$6.1 million
5. Harold and Kumar Escape Guantanamo Bay$6.0 million
6. The Forbidden Kingdom$4.2 million
7. Nim’s Island$2.7 million
8. Prom Night$2.5 million
9. 21$2.1 million
10. 88 Minutes$1.6 million

So already my Summer Blockbuster Preview predictions , the ones I made earlier this week, look like they are up in smoke. Well, that’s what happens when I start using my head instead of my gut in making box-office predictions, and should have just gone with my gut. It looks as if Iron Man will probably hit $300 million now. Oh, and by the way, I could be wrong about leaving Sex and the City: The Movie out of the top ten. Apparently it topped an AOL Moviefone poll as the most anticipated movie of summer, ahead of Iron Man, Indiana Jones and everyone else.

Are all the people who responded to that poll moviegoers, though? Good question. I had that flick on the edge of the Top Ten but not quite there, but maybe it’ll do better than that. Those four babes Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis are doing all the women’s TV shows hyping that movie up. Who knows, maybe it’s going to do better than I expect it to.

Incidentally, I keep hearing bad things about what the box office is likely to be for Speed Racer. I read it might not even make $40 mil. Yikes.

Anyway, be sure to tune in later this week for another edition of The Reject Report, as we anticipate what surely looks to be a major showdown between Speed Racer and Iron Man for box office supremacy.