May 4, 2013


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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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Based on Friday’s grosses, Weekend #18 of 2013 kicks of the summer with a very solid $203 million for the top 12 films, below the Avengers-fueled same weekend last year but above the four-year average for this weekend.    Disney is very happy to have Marvel and its films now in its orbit: three years ago this weekend, Paramount reaped the benefits of Iron Man 2, while Disney tried to open the well-intentioned but little-viewed documentary Babies against it.  

Opening at 4,253 theaters late Thursday, Iron Man 3 from Disney grossed $66.8 million Thursday night-Friday and is on track for a $164 million opening weekend (below the $172 million ShowbuzzDaily forecast).   The film is averaging $38,500 per theater for the weekend (seven times above the $5,333 opening weekend average for all wide-release films the last two years), while critical sentiment is fairly positive: 78% positive at RottenTomatoes (although top critics are a little less enthusiastic at 70% positive).  Iron Man 3 is headed for $353 million total domestic, well above the $318 million for Iron Man and $312 million for Iron Man 2.  Overseas numbers — where the real money will be made for this film — will be updated here tomorrow.

Weekend 18

May 3-5, 2013

($ millions)
Pre-Wknd Showbuzz Forecast Early Weekend Estimate Actual Friday Gross Showbuzz Domestic Final Proj.
Iron Man 3 Dis [172] 163.7 66.8 353
Pain and Gain Par [8.9] 7.5 2.3 49
42 WB [6.6] 6.4 1.8 96
Oblivion Uni [8.1] 5.9 1.7 95
The Croods DW/Fox [4.5] 4.2 1.0 178
The Big Wedding LG [4.1] 3.9 1.2 19
Oz: The Great and Powerful Dis [—] 2.6 .62 233
Mud Roadside [—] 2.2 .63
Scary Movie V Weins [1.5] 1.5 .46 29
G.I. Joe: Retaliation Par [1.8] 1.3 .35 123
Place Beyond the Pines Focux [1.5] 1.3 .38 26
Olympus Has Fallen FilmDis [1.5] 1.3 .22 101

Note: The table above summarizes an early look at the weekend.  The first column is a reminder of each film’s ShowBuzzDaily Forecast for the weekend (in brackets).  The second column, on which the films are sorted, displays the new weekend projection for each film, based on the Friday numbers (the third column).  The final column is a preliminary estimate of the ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Total number for the film’s total run in North America.  A “++” indicates the Domestic number has been upgraded; a “–” indicates a downgrade.


Previous IRON MAN Films 

Critics Positive ($ millions)
Opening Weekend Domestic Total Overseas Total
Iron Man 2 Par 5.7.2010 PG13 73% 122.4 312.4 311.5
Iron Man Par 5.2.2008 PG13 93% 98.6 318.4 266.7

In case you missed them, click to see this week’s Weekend Predictions.


Total Box Office Volume

The Top 12 Films this weekend are looking like $202 million total Friday-Sunday, up 12% from the four-year average for the comparable weekend but down 19% from the same weekend last year (which featured the opening of The Avengers).  But overall, summer is off to a solid start,which was not a given because of the spotty first four months of 2013.

 WEEKEND #18 ($ millions)
Weekend Volume: Top 12 Films Top Movies Opening Each Weekend (Fri-Sun only)
2013 $202 Iron Man 3 $164
2012 $250 Marvel’s The Avengers $207
2011 $155 Thor $66, Something Borrowed $14, Jumping the Broom $15
2010 $171 Iron Man 2 $128, Babies $2
2009 $143 Star Trek $75, Next Day Air $4
Avg 2009-12 $180

Check back tomorrow for more complete Weekend Studio Estimates based on Saturday’s actual box office, as well as the International Box Office report.

About the Author

Mitch Metcalf
MITCH METCALF has been tracking every US film release of over 500 screens (over 2300 movies and counting) since the storied weekend of May 20, 1994, when Maverick and Beverly Hills Cop 3 inspired countless aficionados to devote their lives to the art of cinema. Prior to that, he studied Politics and Economics at Princeton in order to prepare for his dream of working in television. He has been Head of West Coast Research at ABC, then moved to NBC in 2000 and became Head of Scheduling for 11 years.