Shellhead Soars Over Speed Racer & Vegas !


The Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Be sure to check back on Monday for final figures based on actual box office.

Earlier this week, The Weekend Warrior mused about the second weekend of May possibly being jinxed in some form, and at least one of the new movies must have felt that this weekend, as neither new movie could dethrone Marvel Studios’ Iron Man (Paramount) in its second week.

It was already thought that the Wachowski Brothers’ Speed Racer starring Emile Hirsch and Matthew Fox, would have to settle for second place this weekend, but who knew that it would do so poorly that it barely held its ground with a mere $200 thousand lead over the Ashton Kutcher/Cameron Diaz comedy vehicle What Happens in Vegas (20th Century Fox)? It may be too close a race to call, but Warner Bros. has claimed second place with an estimated $20.2 million in 3,606 theaters, a disappointing opening compared to the movie’s rumored $120 million production budget. By comparison, the “Camershton” romantic comedy is right in line with projections from earlier in the week, whereas Speed Racer didn’t even reach the $25 million low mark projected by studio tracking.

Either way, Marvel Studios’ debut production Iron Man (Paramount) has held its place on top with an impressive second weekend estimated take of $50.5 million, down just 49% from its breakout opening weekend. This is the second best hold for a movie based on a Marvel Comics character after Spider-Man six years ago, compared to previous Marvel-based films that have faced second weekend drops of 52% or more. With a total gross of $177 million, Iron Man is already on the outskirts of becoming one of the top 10 superhero movies ever after just 10 and a half days.

The Patrick Dempsey-Michelle Monaghan romantic comedy Made of Honor (Sony) grossed $7.6 million in fourth place, down 48% and taking its total to $26.2 million.
Universal’s Baby Mama and Forgetting Sarah Marshall placed in fifth and sixth with $5.8 and $3.8 million, respectively. The Tina Fey-Amy Poehler comedy crossed $40 million this weekend while the Jason Segel scripted romantic comedy has grossed over $50 million with one more weekend under its belt.

New Line’s Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay was the only other movie to earn more than $3 million this weekend, bringing its total gross after three weeks to $30 million.

After opening in New York and Los Angeles last weekend, David Mamet’s martial arts drama Redbelt (Sony Classics) ambitiously expanded into over 1,300 theaters but failed to find much of an audience, taking in just $1.1 million for a shabby average of $826 per site.

Roadside Attractions offered two new films in limited release, both in roughly 8 theaters in New York and L.A., and The Fall, the second feature from Indian filmmaker Tarsem (The Cell), fared better than the India-based drama Before It Rains, grossing $80 thousand this weekend to the latter’s $52 thousand.

Despite the lack of breakout success for the two new movies, business was up nearly 23% from the same weekend last year when Sony’s Spider-Man 3 remained on top of three weaker new films despite a sizable drop.

Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films.