Forget what I said last time, there’ll be no schadenfreude for Nikki Finke, or anyone else in H-wood, on this day, for “Iron Man” has netted some $104,250,000 at the domestic box-office since it’s Thursday night pre-release, exceeding expectations by as much as $30 million smackers. Finke and Variety also inform us that the film also netted another $96+ million outside North America, making this a cool $200 million dollar weekend and overall bringing us into something not so terribly far from “Spiderman” territory.
I’m actually not one bit surprised that the film has apparently very wide appeal despite not being as action-packed as some others. You see, my personal gauge of today’s mass audience – my Adam Sandler worshipping, “Saw” adoring, thoughtful-movie-disdaining nephew — was wowed by it, even noting the smaller amount of action but finding it, mysteriously enough, really entertaining in any case. Stories? Characters? Could they sometimes mean money? I think that the real secret weapon of “Spiderman” was its heart, but then I’m a dreamy idealist with absolutely no connection to reality. Can you guess which candidate I’m supporting?
“Iron Man” also enjoyed the best per-screen average of any film I’ve looked at since starting this series, at $24,543 on over four-thousand screens. (So far, the best per-screens in Multiplex Mayhem land have been major art-house films showing in only a few theaters nationwide.) Overall, the calm, sober analysis offered by the Finkean legions, via a “Paramount insider,” is that Robert Downey, Jr. and the movie beat Jesus (Mel Gibson version, I assume) and, yes, Will Smith. No word on which one would win in an Ulitimate Fighting match with Zarathustra and the Mighty Thor. And I can’t think of a better opportunity to plug this masterfully written Bullz-Eye salute to the the lesser known great acting works of Mr. Downey, which is absolutely coincidentally written by, er, me.
In other news, despite probably sucking, “Made of Honor” managed to grab $15,500,000, with “Baby Mama“, starring the adorably (im)mature Tina Fey, holding on decently in its second week with $10,332,000. Meanwhile “Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay” just barely edged out the impressive box-office “legs” of “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” with both films netting just over $6 million, making it an imperfect but acceptable week for not-immensely stupid comedies.
By the way, it also wasn’t a bad 48 hours or so for two debuting indie-sized films with more mainstream appeal than usual. In six and five theater’s respectively, David Mamet’s “Redbelt” managed a healthy per screen average of $11,433 and the Sundance-fave kid-comedy of cinematic recklessness, “Son of Rambow” did nearly as well with $10,500 per theater.
That’s it for this week. I’m off to go make pre-Indiana/North Carolina calls for someone David Mamet probably won’t be voting for. (Yeah, I know, I found a way to link to my old blog post twice in two posts. I live for web-hits, baby.)