Box Office Results for May 3, 2013


This weekend, Tony Stark obliterated the competition as the much-anticipated super hero sequel Iron Man 3 generated the second biggest opening weekend in box office history and also became the top-grossing global blockbuster of 2013.  Domestic audiences spent a jaw-dropping $175.3M this weekend, according to estimates, seeing the third installment in the Marvel franchise including grosses from Thursday night shows starting at 9:00pm.  Playing in 4,253 theaters, the PG-13 actioner averaged a scorching $41,218 per location and was helped by surcharges for the 3D conversion.


9% of the weekend gross ($16.5M) came from the 326 higher-priced IMAX screens.  Overall, 45% of the frame came from 3D screens representing a drop from The Avengers, which was 52% a year ago this same weekend.  That Marvel assembly of super heroes still holds the all-time record for opening weekend with a staggering $207.4M putting Robert Downey Jr. in the two biggest debuts in industry history.  Both films were released by Disney on the first weekend of May kicking off the summer movie season against zero competition.

Iron Man 3’s gargantuan run started off with $15.6M in Thursday night shows from 9:00pm into the post-midnight hours.  The full opening day gross (including all Thursday night business) was $68.3M.  That stands as the eighth best opening day ever.  The real magic for the Stark-vs.-Mandarin pic came on Saturday when the film declined by only 9% to $62.2M.  By comparison, last year The Avengers witnessed a larger 14% dip on Saturday coming off of a Friday gross that did not include Thursday night business starting so early.  Iron Man 2’s Saturday drop was 11%.

With threequels usually eroding faster than their predecessors – especially when release weekends are identical – it was extraordinary that Iron Man 3 held up so well in its second day.  Disney projected that Sunday dropped by 28% to $44.8M.  Sunday falls for The Avengers and Iron Man 2 were 18% and 32%, respectively.

Iron Man 2 was seen as disappointing creatively by many fans and normally that would have prompted some of the audience to skip out on another chapter in the series.  However, The Avengers was so well-liked that it erased that bad taste and even expanded the overall fan base which Iron Man 3 capitalized on this weekend.  Word of mouth is good so far as the CinemaScore grade was an A and also reviews have been fairly positive.  The Avengers scored higher in both categories, however for a threequel to earn these marks is terrific and bodes well for the weeks ahead.  The next big tentpole is Star Trek Into Darkness opening in IMAX on May 15 and in conventional theaters on Thursday, May 16 so Iron Man 3 has a good week and a half of clear sailing to soar past the $200M and $300M marks.  Even if it plays out with the same declines as Iron Man 2, it would break $400M as well by the end of the domestic run.

The new blockbuster was once again anchored by superstar Robert Downey Jr. who can now claim to be the only movie star with $500M+ global blockbusters over the last six consecutive years.  This comes from Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3, Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, and of course The Avengers.  Once hitting rock bottom in his career, the acclaimed actor has used his immense skills to turn things around and make himself into the world’s top box office draw.

Audience breakdown for Iron Man 3 was identical for The Avengers when it came to gender – 61% male.  But the new Stark movie played a little older with 55% being over 25 compared to 50% for the super hero value pack.  As for the entire marketplace, with Iron Man 3 absorbing all the free screens within each multiplex it accounted for a whopping 80% of the entire box office this weekend with no other wide releases daring to open and no holdover hitting double digit millions.  Iron Man 3 completely dominated the marketplace.  The Avengers commanded the exact same share of the box office one year ago this weekend when it crushed its foes.

This is the seventh consecutive year that Marvel seized control over the lucrative first weekend in May to kickoff the summer movie season.  Though its characters have done it before, the current streak started in 2007 with Spider-Man 3 (co-produced with Columbia), continuing with 2008’s Iron Man (distributed by Paramount), 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine (co-produced with 20th Century Fox), 2010’s Iron Man 2, 2011’s Thor (distributed by Paramount), and The Avengers last year.  The comic giant has no intention of giving up this prime piece of box office real estate and has already planted its flag on May 2 next year with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 as well as May 1, 2015 for The Avengers 2, which could conceivably score an opening weekend that breaks the $250M mark.  They are essentially telling every other film to backoff.  And it would surprise nobody if Marvel claims May 6, 2016 for a fourth Iron Man film.  But next up are super sequels with Thor: The Dark World returning this November and Captain America: The Winter Soldier next April.

Iron Man 3 was also colossal behemoth at the overseas box office this weekend where it played in its second round in most territories.  The Marvel hero grossed a stellar $175.9M driven by new openings in China ($63.5M in 5 days), Russia ($21.7M in 4), and Germany ($10M in 5).  That boosted the international total to a mammoth $504.8M and the global haul to a jaw-dropping $680.1M in under two weeks.  That’s even more than the $655M that The Avengers grossed in the same 12 days last year.  Release dates were mostly the same as it too opened in most overseas markets one week before domestic to capitalize on the May Day holiday, which is not celebrated in the U.S.  The main difference is that Iron Man 3 opened in China three days earlier.  With local partner DMG involved in producing the film, extra footage for a special version only for China audiences, and Chinese stars added in, the results were record-breaking for Iron Man 3 in that market where it smashed the all-time opening day record on Wednesday with an estimated $21.5M.

Trailing lucrative China, the next best results for Iron Man 3 came from two-week cumes in Korea ($42.6M), the U.K. ($38.3M), Mexico ($35.8M), Brazil ($30.1M), Australia ($28.4M), France ($27.8M), and Russia’s $21.7M from just the opening weekend.  With nearly two weeks of clear sailing in most offshore markets (Star Trek Into Darkness debuts in six markets next weekend plus previews in others), Iron Man 3 could very well be on a trajectory towards the $1.3B mark in worldwide box office.


The rest of the top ten featured scraps of spring leftovers fighting over what was left of the box office pie.  The Mark WahlbergDwayne Johnson action-comedy Pain & Gain tumbled from the number one spot and lost 63% of its business.  Paramount grossed an estimated $7.6M putting the ten-day take at $33.9M.  Produced for a reported $26M, the Michael Bay film should end its domestic run with about $45M.


The baseball drama 42 help up well dipping 42% to an estimated $6.2M giving Warner Bros. and Legendary $78.3M to date.  Tom Cruise’s sci-fi adventure Oblivion followed with an estimated $5.8M, down 67%, for a $76M domestic total to date for Universal and Relativity.  Hit toon The Croods eased by just 37% to an estimated $4.2M and upped its cume for $168.7M for 20th Century Fox and DreamWorks Animation.


Dropping 49% was the critically-panned Lionsgate and Millennium title The Big Wedding with an estimated $3.9M for a $14.2M cume in ten days.  Matthew McConaughey’s new film Mud jumped into the top ten in its second weekend of moderate play with an estimated $2.2M from 576 locations for a mild $3,733 per theater.  Roadside Attractions and Everest added 213 new sites boosting the theater count by 59% following its eleventh place debut last week.  The weekend dip in grosses was only 3% and the cume is $5.2M.


Also making about as much this weekend as last time was the year’s top domestic blockbuster (for now) Oz the Great and Powerful with an estimated $1.8M, even with last weekend.  Disney coupled the fantasy adventure with Iron Man 3 for many drive-in double features nationwide and got to loot some extra cash off of Tony Stark’s popularity.  The studio did the same thing with John Carter and The Avengers a year ago.  Oz the Great and Powerful has now banked $228.6M from North America and $485.6M worldwide.


Crashing 58% was the spoof sequel Scary Movie 5 with an estimated $1.4M giving Dimension $29.6M to date.  The Focus and SKE title The Place Beyond the Pines rounded out the top ten with an estimated $1.3M, down 52%, for a $18.7M cume.

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The top ten films grossed an estimated $209.7M, which was down 15% from last year when Marvel Studios’ The Avengers debuted at number one with a record $207.4M; but up 37% from 2011 when Paramount Pictures and Marvel Studios’ Thor opened in the top spot with $65.7M.

May 3, 2013 to May 5, 2013 Top Ten

Iron Man 3   Pain & Gain   42   Oblivion B   The Croods

The Big Wedding   Mud   Oz the Great and Powerful   Scary Movie 5   The Place Beyond the Pines

1.   Iron Man 3

  • $175,300,000
  • Marvel Studios (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

2.   Pain & Gain

3.   42

4.   Oblivion

5.   The Croods

6.   The Big Wedding

7.   Mud

  • $2,150,000
  • a Roadside Attractions release (Lions Gate Entertainment)
  • Everest Entertainment

8.   Oz the Great and Powerful

  • $1,822,000
  • Walt Disney Pictures (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

9.   Scary Movie 5

10. The Place Beyond the Pines

  • $1,298,000
  • a Focus release (NBCUniversal)
  • Sidney Kimmel Entertainment


May 4, 2012 to May 6, 2012 Top Ten

The Avengers   Think Like a Man teaser   The Hunger Games A   The Lucky One   The Pirates! Band of Misfits

The Five-Year Engagement   The Raven   Safe   Chimpanzee   The Three Stooges

1.   The Avengers

  • $207,329,000
  • Marvel Studios (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

2.   Think Like a Man

3.   The Hunger Games

  • $5,700,000
  • Lionsgate (Lions Gate Entertainment)

4.   The Lucky One

  • $5,510,000
  • Warner Bros. Pictures (Warner Bros. Entertainment)

5.   The Pirates! Band of Misfits

6.   The Five-Year Engagement

  • $5,088,000
  • Universal Pictures (NBCUniversal) and Relativity Media (Relativity Media)

7.   The Raven

8.   Safe

9.   Chimpanzee

  • $2,395,000
  • Disneynature (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

10. The Three Stooges

  • $1,800,000
  • 20th Century Fox (Fox Entertainment Group)


May 6, 2011 to May 8, 2011 Top Ten

Thor   Fast Five   Jumping the Broom   Something Borrowed   Rio

Water for Elephants   Madea's Big Happy Family   Soul Surfer   Prom   Hoodwinked Too!

1.   Thor

  • $65,700,000
  • a Paramount release (Paramount Motion Pictures Group)
  • Marvel Studios (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

2.   Fast Five

  • $32,519,000
  • Universal Pictures (NBCUniversal)

3.   Jumping the Broom

4.   Something Borrowed

5.   Rio

6.   Water for Elephants

7.   Madea’s Big Happy Family

8.   Soul Surfer

  • $2,425,000
  • a TriStar release (Sony Pictures Entertainment)
  • FilmDistrict and Enticing Entertainment

9.   Prom

  • $2,100,000
  • Walt Disney Pictures (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

10. Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil

~ by Matt Whitfield on May 8, 2013.

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