Iron Man 2 started off the summer movie season with a powerful debut, and my predictions for the weekend were just as powerful. I predicted four of the films in the top five in order, and my predictions for the top five were off by less than $4 million. A Nightmare on Elm Street suffered a big decline, while the rest of the movies in the top five held up fairly well, considering how dominant Iron Man 2 was. Here’s how the weekend broke down:
Iron Man 2 debuted in 1st place with a powerful gross of $133.6 million (I predicted a 1st place finish and a gross of $133 million). Iron Man 2 had a per theatre average of $30,502 which was by far and away the highest per theatre average for any film in release right now. The opening weekend was very strong for Iron Man 2 as it had the 5th highest opening weekend in history (4th highest opening weekend for a summer film if you take away the gross for The Twilight Saga: New Moon, and to be a bigger nerd, the 2nd highest opening weekend gross in history behind Spider-Man 3). Here’s the chart:
1) The Dark Knight – $158.4 million opening weekend
2) Spider-Man 3 – $151.1 million opening weekend
3) The Twilight Saga: New Moon – $142.8 million opening weekend
4) Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest – $135.6 million opening weekend
5) Iron Man 2 – $133.6 million opening weekend
6) Shrek the Third – $121.6 million opening weekend
The opening weekend of Iron Man 2 also surpassed the opening weekend gross of Iron Man as the original grossed $98.6 million on its opening weekend. Now we’ll have to wait and see how the film does on its second weekend. The original had great word-of-mouth and the critics support. Iron Man 2 is getting great word-of-mouth as well, but the critics seem to be lukewarm to this installment. The original Iron Man suffered a 48.1% drop in its second weekend, and I would expect the drop for Iron Man 2 to be bigger next weekend, as sequels tend to be more front-loaded. The opening weekend gross for Iron Man 2 is an absolutely tremendous start for the film and for the summer movie season.
Dropping from 1st place to 2nd place is the horror franchise reboot A Nightmare on Elm Street with a gross of $9.1 million (I predicted a 2nd place finish and a gross of $10.5 million). The film had a massive drop of 72.1% and a per theatre average of $2,752, which is not good news for a film only in its second weekend. The percentage drop in its second weekend is big, but not as big as the reboot of Friday the 13th as shown in the chart below:
Friday The 13th – 80.4% second weekend drop
A Nightmare on Elm Street – 72.1% second weekend drop
The reboot of Friday the 13th finished its run with a gross of $65 million, and I think A Nightmare on Elm Street will be hard pressed to finish its run with a number bigger than that. That bothers me because I firmly believe that Freddy Krueger is the more popular villain over Jason, and I have to go back to the point I made last weekend, which was that the reboot of A Nightmare on Elm Street would have done a lot better box office wise, if it had been released around Halloween. I really question the studio’s decision to release it on the last weekend of April, when it knew it was going to get clobbered the following weekend by Iron Man 2. I know horror films are front loaded, so that may have played into the studio’s thinking, and I know I’m playing armchair quarterback, but I think it was a poor decision to release A Nightmare on Elm Street right before the summer movie season. After two weekends, A Nightmare on Elm Street has grossed $48.5 million.
Dropping from 2nd place to 3rd place is How to Train Your Dragon with a gross of $6.7 million (I predicted a 3rd place finish and a gross of $7.6 million). The film had yet another amazing hold as it was only down 36.3% from last weekend (which surprisingly for the second weekend in a row is not the lowest percentage drop in the top ten) and had a per theatre average of $2,251. In its 7th weekend of release, How to Train Your Dragon has now become DreamWorks Animation 5th highest grossing film of all-time and 2nd highest grossing non-Shrek film of all-time for DreamWorks Animation. Here’s the breakdown:
1) Shrek 2 – $441.2 million
2) Shrek The Third – $322.7 million
3) Shrek – $267.6 million
4) Kung Fu Panda – $215.4 million
5) How To Train Your Dragon – $201 million
6) Monsters vs. Aliens – $198.3 million
7) Madagascar – $193.5 million
8) Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa – $180 million
9) Shark Tale – $160.8 million
10) Over The Hedge – $155 million
How to Train Your Dragon has been the biggest story in the first quarter of the year for movies (yes, the run of this film is bigger to me than Alice in Wonderland because of the incredible legs How to Train Your Dragon has shown throughout its run). It should be able to overthrow Kung Fu Panda in the coming weeks as it does not have a serious threat to its box office until Shrek the Fourth comes out in late May. As stated above, after seven weeks of release, How to Train Your Dragon has grossed $201 million.
Dropping from 3rd place to 4th place is the comedy Date Night with a gross of $5.3 million (I predicted a 4th place finish and a gross of $4.7 million). Date Night had a per theatre average of $1,939, and dropped 30.1% from last weekend. For the second weekend in a row Date Night had the lowest percentage drop of any film in the top ten. Some might argue that Date Night is doing well by default because there is not really a threat in terms of a comedy film in theatres right now, but the film is funny, and people like the chemistry that Steve Carell and Tiny Fey have together. After five weekends, Date Night has grossed $80.8 million.
Dropping from 4th place to 5th place is the Jennifer Lopez comedy The Back-Up Plan with a gross of $4.3 million (I predicted a 6th place finish and a gross of $3.9 million). The film had a per theatre average of $1,447 and was down 40.1% from last weekend. The film did better than I expected, but I don’t really think anyone is rushing out to see this film anymore. It might drop lower in the standings when final numbers come out on Monday, but for now it is in the top five. After three weekends The Back-Up Plan has taken in $29.4 million.
I was way off in my predictions for the bottom half of the top ten. In 6th place is Furry Vengeance with a gross of $4 million (I didn’t make a prediction on this film, as I thought it would be the 7th, 8th, or 9th place.) In 7th place is Clash of the Titans with a gross of $2.3 million (I predicted a 6th place finish and a gross of $3.9 million). In 8th place is Death at a Funeral with a gross of $2.1 million (I again did not make a prediction on this film as I thought it would be in the lower half of the top ten). The prediction I was way off on this weekend was the #9 film The Losers. I predicted that it would be the #5 film with a gross of $4.2 million. In reality, The Losers was the #9 film with a gross of $1.8 million thanks to a 69.4% drop at the box office. Some positions for these films could change when final numbers come out on Monday, but the numbers will not be far off from the estimates.
In limited release:
Babies – the documentary that chronicles the life of newborns in different parts of the world finished in 10th place with a gross of $1.5 million from 534 theatres giving it a per theatre average of $2,949.
Mother and Child – the drama about adoption that stars Naomi Watts and Samuel L. Jackson grossed $44,400 from 4 theatres for a per theatre average of $11,100.
Multiple Sarcasms starring Timothy Hutton and Mira Sorvino in a story about a man who is trying to fight off a mid-life crisis grossed $17,800 from 15 theatres for a per theatre average of $1,187.
Badmaash Company, Casino Jack and the United States of Money, and OSS 117: Lost in Rio have not reported their opening weekend grosses as of this writing.
So to recap, here were my predictions:
- Iron Man 2 – $133 million
- A Nightmare on Elm Street – $10.5 million
- How To Train Your Dragon – $7.6 million
- Date Night – $4.7 million
- The Losers– $4.2 million
And here are the actual numbers:
- Iron Man 2 – $133.6 million
- A Nightmare on Elm Street – $9.1 million
- How To Train Your Dragon – $6.7 million
- Date Night – $5.3 million
- The Back-Up Plan– $4.3 million
My top five predictions were off by $3.9 million.
Next weekend, Iron Man 2 looks hopes to be the #1 film at the box office for a second weekend in a row, but it will have to fight off Amanda Seyfried in the romance Letters to Juliet, and Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott’s action epic Robin Hood. Come back to Biff Bam Pop next Friday to read my predictions!