'Iron Man 3' rockets its way to second-best opening ever

Posted May 5, 2013 by Tim O'Brien
It wasn't as big as "The Avengers" but it did beat "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2." It would be "Iron Man 3" with a box office haul of $175 million. It completely dwarfed the competition.
A superhero take over with  Iron Man 3.
A superhero take over with "Iron Man 3."
In fact, the second place finisher did not even get into double digits. So, a big number for one film while the rest of them threw in the towel, or raised a white flag. In no way is Disney disappointment with "Iron Man 3," as the summer season is officially under way.
But, could there be just a little worry about other films under performing? This summer and for the rest of the year, it is sequels and franchise films that will carry the day. Is the big screen becoming nothing more than TV shows, meaning episode after episode of your favorites?
At times, one could think they are seeing a sequel to "The Avengers," which was last year's top box office draw. After all, that, too starred Robert Downey Jr.
1. "Iron Man 3" - $175 million
2. "Pain and Gain" - $7.6 million
3. "42" - $6.2 million
4. "Oblivion" - $5.7 million
5."The Croods" - $4.2 million
Last week's contenders, "Pain and Gain" and "Oblivion" fell 62.5 percent and 67 percent, respectively.
But for now, celebrate these review-proof style movies. This one had a odd start and then with word-of-mouth climbed on Saturday. After the early showings did quite match "The Avengers," many estimates fell, while some dropped lower than they should have. In the end, it was word-of-mouth that helped this one debut to the second best opener ever. "The Avengers" has that title with $207 million.
Some other news of note is the film "The Iceman 2013" as it was solid in limited release. In just 4 theaters it took in $93,100. That is a per screen average of $23,275. Many times by tracking these films, they turn out to be the ones that emerge come award season. The same is true for the slowly released festival films that make their way around the country.
For example, at first, "At Any Price," starring Zac Efron and Dennis Quaid had the festival buzz going, but now that the film is released, the buzz is gone. And it opens wider this weekend, but had a couple theaters in Chicagoland this time around and was quiet.
It is a farming film so let's see how it plays when it opens in the heartland. Another slow release example is "Mud," starring Matthew McConaughey. In just 576 theaters, it landed in the top ten. Some win with the release schedule while some fail.
To get an idea of the per screen average, "Iron Man 3" came in with 4,235. It walked away with $41,218. That is why theaters owners want to screen it as many times as possible. The longer a movie is, that digs into the bottom line.
The total, worldwide for "Iron Man 3" is now $680 million. Now that is big box office already. After a second-best opening weekend, now let's see where it end up.