Archive for Monday, May 5, 2008

Iron Man’ mines $100M debut

May 5, 2008

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— "Iron Man" was pure gold at the box office.

The Marvel Comics adaptation, starring Robert Downey Jr. as the guy in the metal suit, hauled in $100.7 million during its opening weekend and $104.2 million since debuting Thursday night, the second-best premiere ever for a nonsequel, according to studio estimates Sunday.

The film also scored overseas with $96.7 million in 57 countries where it began opening Wednesday, putting its worldwide total at $201 million.

The movie, distributed by Paramount, is the first release by Marvel Studios, which has begun financing its own productions after such studio-backed hits as the "Spider-Man," "X-Men" and "Fantastic Four" flicks.

"We could not have hoped for a better way for Marvel Studios to blast off," said David Maisel, chairman of the unit, a division of Marvel Entertainment, which stands to pull in a greater share of box office receipts and merchandising money by financing movies itself.

Debuting in second place with $15.5 million was Sony's romantic comedy "Made of Honor," starring "Grey's Anatomy" heartthrob Patrick Dempsey as a man who tries to woo his best pal after she asks him to be "maid of honor" at her wedding.

"Iron Man," which won rave reviews from many critics, features Downey as billionaire arms designer Tony Stark, a boozy womanizer who builds a high-tech suit and becomes a superhero, mending his ways after he's taken captive and sees firsthand the devastation his weapons cause.

The film is directed by Jon Favreau, and also stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges and Terrence Howard.

"Iron Man" was the 10th biggest opening of all time and the fourth biggest for a superhero movie. Among nonsequels, it came in behind only the first "Spider-Man," which premiered with $114.8 million.

The next Marvel production arrives in June with "The Incredible Hulk," distributed by Universal and starring Edward Norton.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Media By Numbers LLC.

1. "Iron Man," $100.7 million.

2. "Made of Honor," $15.5 million.

3. "Baby Mama," $10.3 million.

4. "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," $6.1 million.

5. "Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay," $6 million.

6. "The Forbidden Kingdom," $4.2 million.

7. "Nim's Island," $2.8 million.

8. "Prom Night," $2.5 million.

9. "21," $2.1 million.

10. "88 Minutes," $1.6 million.

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