Who really needs any other studios when you’ve got Marvel around? About a year after Marvel’s “The Avengers” set the record for biggest weekend in box office history, “Iron Man 3” comes along to provide the second best. There’s not much precedence for this sort of thing – spinning a successful franchise (“Iron Man”) into another, more lucrative brand (“The Avengers”) and then back out. So while some expected “Iron Man 3” to be seen by the exact same audience as “The Avengers,” that simply wasn’t a realistic proposition. Maybe some people are “Captain America” fans, and some are “Hulk” fans. And most love “Iron Man.”
These numbers surpass the $169 million taken in by 2011’s “Harry Potter And The Deathly Hollows Pt. 2” to give Marvel seven of the top twenty five opening weekends in box office history, a run of dominance that’s only expected to continue through 2015’s “The Avengers 2.” The worldwide box office also continues to buoy “Iron Man 3,” with the numbers reaching $680 million global take through the end of Sunday. That it should surpass the last two “Iron Man” films isn’t a surprise, given this is the first time this series has ventured into 3D territory. That it should take ten days to surpass the $623 million take of “Iron Man 2” is a little more surprising. Surely in “Iron Man 3” we have the year’s first billion dollar grossing film, the second in two years for Marvel and Disney.
Curiously, Marvel has no plans for a fourth “Iron Man” film, with some saying this is it for the series. A nice note to go on, but does Marvel really want to slow this money train down? If anything, this film solidifies Robert Downey Jr.’s position as one of the most bankable actors in the industry (if not the most bankable), and that sort of reputation deserves corresponding compensation. Downey took home $50 million plus for being in the ensemble of “The Avengers” and likely got a tidy raise for “Iron Man 3”; the question isn’t necessarily if Marvel can still afford him, but rather if anyone can. Downey’s likely to return for “The Avengers 2” but beyond that, he’s beginning to enter his fifties, and he likely craves a bit of variety, as “Avengers 2” will be the sixth time Downey portrayed Tony Stark in a seven-year period (including the brief cameo in “The Incredible Hulk”). It’s not too late for a “War Machine” movie, Marvel.
With the young male demographic all swallowed up by “Iron Man 3” (kinky!), “Pain And Gain” had nowhere to go but far far down and fell 62% from last week. The nasty true-life comedy took a precipitous plummet out of the top spot amidst harsh word-of-mouth, making this likely Michael Bay’s lowest-grossing film since “The Island.” Of course Bay has only made “Transformers” films since then, and has another one coming next year, so no one really cares. This was a passion project for Bay and actors Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson, the two leading men discounting their asking price for a piece of the back-end, and with Wahlberg sporting “2 Guns” later this summer and Johnson popping up in “Fast And Furious 6,” does anyone care if this gets swept under the rug, despite possibly being Bay’s most definitive auteur statement?
“42” didn’t seem like a likely $100 million performer, but given its staying power it could very well cross into nine digits. The current $78 million tally suggests it will have to stick around through the blockbuster crush, but it’s certainly possible. The target right now is “A League Of Their Own,” which banked $107 million in 1992 and is still the highest-grossing baseball film of all time. “42” has a lot of ground to make up to reach those numbers. They also said a colored player could never play with whites. Bottom line: never doubt Jackie Robinson. #HISTORYLESSON
“Oblivion” is just bleeding out heavily after these last two weekends. It is not working out too well for the Cruiser this time around, and after "Jack Reacher," this is Tom Cruise's second straight underperforming tentpole. Both films seemed to carry expectations that they would grab at least $250 million worth of global ticket sales, but "Reacher" landed at $216 million and the more-expensive "Oblivion" is only now just getting close to that mark. For someone who seems to be one of the industry's most valuable leading man, Cruise has had three straight films (including his supporting bit in "Rock Of Ages") that haven't crossed $100 million domestically. Cruise's next, "All You Need Is Kill," mines similar territory as "Oblivion," suggesting that Cruise needs to shift gears before he moves into an inevitable fifth "Mission: Impossible."
This is week seven for "The Croods" and this has really become a sizable hit for Fox and Dreamworks, if not exactly crossing $200 million domestic. The picture's doing this with very little steam left, and it should land a little south of $180 million, with apparently $500 million plus in worldwide ticket sales. It managed to stay ahead of "The Big Wedding," which fell apart in weekend two and is headed right for your local Redbox or supermarket, where it will be purchased and rented by complete, perverse masochists.
Weirdly, "Oz: The Great And Powerful" received a bump back into the top ten by boosting its audience by a quarter over last weekend. Still a disappointment for Disney, but silver linings, we suppose. Though it's unusual for a film to drop a couple hundred theaters and increase it's box office patterns in its ninth weekend, it probably has a good amount to do with the amount of clutter at the bottom of the top ten just waiting to vanish into the ether. "Scary Movie 5" has barely crossed $30 million domestic despite four weeks of release, while "Mud" rode an expansion into 576 theaters to land in the top ten, though its per-screen average was probably fitting for a hard-to-describe indie with a terrible title.
1. Marvel's Got An ATM Machine (Disney) - $173 million
2. Pumping Up With Marky Mark And The Rock (Paramount) - $7.6 million ($34 mil.)
3. 42 (Warner Bros.) - $6.2 million ($78 mil.)
4. Tom Cruise Eternal (Universal) - $5.7 million ($76 mil.)
5. The Croods (Fox) - $4.2 million ($169 mil.)
6. The Big Wedding (Lionsgate) - $3.9 million ($14 mil.)
7. Mud (Roadside Attractions)- $2.1 million ($5.1 mil.)
8. Oz: The Money's Onscreen (Disney) - $2.3 million ($229 mil.)
9. Scary Movie 5 (The Weinstein Company) - $1.5 million ($30 mil.)
10. The Place Beyond the Pines (Focus) - $1.2 million ($18.6 mil.)