Inside Pulse Box Office Report: Iron Man 2 Grosses $133.6 Million in Three Days

With the summer movie season finally in full swing audiences were ready to embrace the experience. And if Iron Man 2‘s opening weekend is any indication, summer 2010 could be another record-breaker. The sequel to 2008’s mega hit (which opened to $102 million on 4,105 screens) has made $372 million worldwide since opening overseas last week. Stateside, it made $133.6 million while debuting in 4,380 North American theaters – making it the largest release in Hollywood history. (The Dark Knight had that distinction previously with 4,366.) However, the extra screens weren’t enough to dethrone the Batman sequel which earned $158.4 in three days.

A Nightmare on Elm Street dropped 72% from its first place opening last week, earning $9.1 million. Comparatively, the percentage drop isn’t as much as last year’s Friday the 13th remake which lost 80% of its weekend gross, going from $40.5 million in its first week to $7.5 million in its second week of release.

How to Train Your Dragon and Date Night continue to perform well on word-of-mouth business. As the best-reviewed wide-release movie on Rotten Tomatoes, Dragon (98% RT) has become the sleeper hit of the year. It overtook Monsters vs. Aliens this weekend to become DreamWorks Animation’s seventh-best performing film all time. If it adds $80 million to its worldwide gross it becomes No. 6 (surpassing Shrek). Couples are wild about Date Night. The combination of Tina Fey and Steve Carell is too good to pass up it seems. 31 days into its release it is still a top five film with a domestic gross of $80.8 million. The lack of more romantic comedies and/or action comedy hybrids that pair men and women together (don’t worry, this summer has plenty of them) is helping the comedy sustain viewers. That may all change this weekend when audiences get two new romance films (Letters to Juliet and Just Wright). Now if the guys are reading this report, try to convince your girlfriend or wife to see Robin Hood with the argument that Cate Blanchett as Marion Loxley is a more inspiring depiction of femininity than Amanda Seyfried in Juliet or Queen Latifah in Just Wright.

Rounding out the top five is J-Lo’s The Back-Up Plan. After three weeks it’s made $29.4 million for a movie that cost $35 million to make. Man, how much is J-Lo’s salary? From the looks of the trailers, it looks like it could have been made for less than $15 million.

The box office goes from bad to worse with Furry Vengeance placing sixth with another $4.0 million. This one just looked bad from the get-go (and a critical approval rating of 7% proves this much). I’ve seen over 70 movies in theaters this year and I’m making a point to skip this one. This is coming from a guy who watches Tyler Perry movies like their car accidents. I want to turn away, but I just can’t help myself.

Nearing the home stretch of the top 10, remakes take the seventh and eighth spots. Clash of the Titans, second to Alice in Wonderland as the biggest movie of Spring nears $435 million worldwide. Death at a Funeral, while funnier than the 2007 UK release but not better, adds another $2.1 million to its $38.2 million gross. The only other comic-book property in the top ten, The Losers, places ninth making $1.8 million. Doing the math that would be the theater averages of 60 of the 4,380 locations playing Iron Man 2 this weekend. Guess it doesn’t pay to be a Loser.

And coming in tenth place is the second documentary to grace the list this year (after Oceans). Babies from Focus Features opened on Mother’s Day weekend on 534 screens and earned an impressive $1.5 million. Its theater average was $2,949 per location, second to Iron Man‘s monstrous $30,502 per location.

On the independent front there were two new releases. Rodrigo Garcia’s Mother and Child opened on four screens and made $44,400. Multiple Avenue Releasing’s Multiple Sarcasms, which stars Timothy Hutton, Dana Delaney and Mira Sorvino, opened on 15 screens to the tune of $17,800. Sony Pictures Classics’ Please Give saw a 114.2% jump as it added 21 more screens. Since its opening last weekend the film has earned $415,000.

1. Iron Man 2 – $133.6 million ($327 million)
2. A Nightmare on Elm Street – $9.1 million ($48.5 million)
3. How to Train Your Dragon – $6.7 million ($201.0 million)
4. Date Night – $5.3 million ($80.8 mil.)
5. The Back-Up Plan – $4.3 million ($29.4 million)
6. Furry Vengeance – $4.0 million ($38.2 million)
7. Clash of the Titans – $2.3 million ($157.8 million)
8. Death at a Funeral – $2.1 million ($38.2 million)
9. The Losers – $1.8 million ($21.4 million)
10. Babies – $1.5 million

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