It is official: Iron Man is a monster hit, taking in over $200 mil worldwide in its first weekend.
Pictures and Marvel Studios’ Iron Man exceeded all expectations, earning a massive $100.75 million during its opening weekend domestically from 4,105 theaters and $104.2 million since debuting Thursday night, averaging $24,543 per site. Internationally, the film has also earned an incredible $96.7 million in 57 countries since it began opening Wednesday, putting its worldwide total at $201 million after just five days!
As predicted, it’s the 10th biggest opening ever, the 4th biggest opening for a superhero movie, and the second biggest non-sequel movie opening, after Spider-Man.
The news is great for Marvel, of course, although traditionally their stock dips after each and every blockbuster as profit-takers sell off. Stock was up slightly on Friday behind very heavy volume. We’ll update it when the market opens. They’re holding their Q1 earnings call this morning, and that should be a lot of fun to listen to.
On the larger front. this will do nothing to crimp Hollywood’s love affair with the comics…well, hell, we write this every time a comic-book-movie does well, but the fact is that CBM’s do very well at the box office. Now, the movies that do well are always based on source material of some vision and/or passion — from Spider-Man to 300 to Ghost World. It remains to be seen of the stampede of “made to be optioned” comics to the option block will result in any actual films, let alone good films. Even something like 30 DAYS OF NIGHT, which opened at #1 but was generally undistinguished yet profitable, was based on a graphic novel which had flair and originality. But there will have to be many, many, MANY clinkers to end this love affair.
But there is always a naysayer, as Popular Mechanics points out that comic book movies, are driving out real SF films:
Despite the rise of the so-called graphic novel over the past few decades—self-contained, morally complex comic series like Alan Moore’s Watchmen and Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns—comic books are still widely regarded as kiddie stuff. And when X-Men and Spider-Man recently proved that film adaptations of popular comics were a relatively untapped box-office goldmine, they did so without substantially updating the science behind the superheroes.
We’ll throw in our own little naysay here: while IRON MAN’s critical response is the best ever for a superhero movie, it is not, in our opinion, the best ever superhero movie, let alone best ever comic book movie. It is very very good, but the plot is too formulaic for that. We’d pick SPIDER-MAN 2 as the best superhero movie — just our opinion, mind — followed closely by BATMAN & ROBIN. Wink wink! But you know, almost every time a good superhero movie opens everyone thinks it’s the best ever for a while.