Sunday, May 5, 2013

Weekend Box Office Report 5 - 5 – 2013: Robert Downey Jr. makes mucho dinero

Yes, I know I missed last Sunday’s report.  I was busy with many other things that sometimes get in the way.  I think it’s called living.  I was going to put it up later in the week but when you’re working eight hours a day, you have to budget your time the best way that you can.  I was also working on another project for this blog (still am) that is taking more time than I thought it would so by Wednesday, I decided it would be rather pointless to publish it.  So here it is, along with this weekend’s take and my usual snarky b.s. which is the real reason you’re here.  You can get the actual numbers anywhere.

And what did I miss writing about last weekend?  Not much.  Michael Bay’s Pain and Gain topped the box office with about $20 million dollars.  It’s sort of a good news bad news kind of thing for Bay.  The good news is that the Pain and Gain only cost Paramount $26 million dollars to make so in the end, they’ll make money from the thing between foreign and domestic box office and the DVD that you can already pre-order.  The bad news is that $20 million dollars is chicken feed compared to what Bay was used to raking in over opening weekends with films like Armageddon, Bad Boys, Bad Boys II, and The Transformers franchise.  If anybody can prove that there’s huge profits in Cinema Sewage, Michael Bay can.  He is is a teenage fanboy’s wet dream.

The truth is not too many people, especially myself, really cared that Bay made a movie that was a bit different than what we are used to seeing him churn out.  P&G has a lofty 46  percent critic approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes.  I say lofty when you compare it to Revenge of the Fallen’ s 20 per cent, Dark of the Moon’s 36 per cent, Bad Boys II’s 23 percent, Bad Boy’s 43 per cent, or Armageddon’s 39 per cent.  A real critic’s darling this guy is.  The only difference between Bay and Uwe Boll is that Bay has big enough budgets to snooker the fan boys into paying to see his mayhem.

But it doesn’t matter at this time.  At least until Bay’s next atrocity Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles From Outer Space makes it’s way into theaters next year.  Supposedly he’s only a producer on that one.  Yeah, and if you believe that then let me tell you how I crap diamonds.  By the time this weekend rolled around though, Iron Man was ready to escort Bay and his fans to the exit.

Even before it opened here in the states everybody knew that Iron Man 3 should just go ahead and be given a license to print money by the Treasury Department.  While Bay was scraping the bottom of the pickle barrel to come up with $20 million last week, Iron Man was already raking in $198 million overseas, beating The Avengers as far as foreign box office openings go.  By the time it opened here, the only question was whether or not it would beat The Avengers opening in the U.S.  It didn’t, coming in second, but I don’t think anybody is down in the dumps about that when your movie is almost to the one billion dollar mark after only a week.  From Hollywood Reporter:

Overseas, the Disney and Marvel threequel grossed $175.9 million in its second weekend, putting the 3D movie's international total at $504.8 million and early worldwide haul at $680.1 million. Internationally, Iron Man 3 - the first title in the franchise to be released in 3D -- is all but matching Avengers overseas, where 3D remains a big draw. China leads with a whopping $63.5 million, the top opening of all time for a Marvel film. Iron Man 3 -- directed by franchise newcomer Shane Black -- has a strong shot of joining an elite club of films ultimately grossing $1 billion or more and is another sizeable victory for Marvel and parent company Disney, giving them the top two slots on the list of all-time North American openings as Iron Man 3 beat out the final Harry Potter pic ($169.2 million).

Box office observers are convinced that the threequel is playing more like a sequel to Avengers than to Iron Man 2, a testament to Marvel's superhero strategy. They say it bodes well for sequels Thor: The Dark World, which opens Nov. 8, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, opening April 14, 2014 (both characters shared the screen with Downey's Tony Stark in Avengers). "A year ago, we speculated as to the impact of Avengers, and now we're witnessing it first-hand with the success of Iron Man 3," said Disney executive vice president of distribution Dave Hollis, crediting Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige. Case in point: Iron Man 3 has already surpassed the total global box office of Iron Man ($585 million), Iron Man 2 ($624 million), Thor ($449 million) and Captain America ($369 million). And it zoomed past the $128.1 million domestic opening of Iron Man 2.
I also read today that for his part in The Avengers, Downey raked in $50 million dollars. I don't know what his haul on Iron Man 3 will be, but it will undoubtedly match that or easily surpass it. However, he has said he is tiring of the character. I guess he can now afford to be now although we all know that wasn’t always the case. If he decides to retire from the franchise, it'll be a question mark as to whether Iron Man can survive his departure.

Consider this: The totally unnecessary Spider-man reboot put out by Cheapskate Sony Incorporated made $262 million. Sounds like a lot until you realize that it didn't top the $300 million dollar mark, a feat achieved by all three of it's three predecessors.

Sure, it helped Sony that they cut the budget down to the point where a profit was inevitable, but in my opinion, they've so damaged the franchise it's doubtful these remakes will ever achieve the rarified air that the originals did. Not that it matters to everybody when you stop to consider that as Sony has proven, along with Michael Bay, a fanboy and his money are easily parted. 

So look for Disney/Marvel to do everything in it's power to keep Downey around at least until The Avengers sequel in a couple of years. 

Besides Pan & Gain dropping well over 60 per cent of it’s box office from 4/28 to 5/5, wave goodbye to Olympus Has Fallen, Jurassic Park 3D, and GI Joe.  Welcome back into the fold Oz, The Great and Powerful who had left the building last week.  Enter Mud, who creeps in with 2.2 million from only 576 Screens.  The Croods just keep hanging around.  Look for Iron Man to top the charts next weekend as well.  But there’s a starship named Enterprise making it’s way across the Galaxy to blast him all to shit.

Here are last weeks and this week’s numbers.

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