'Iron Man 3' Remains #1; 'The Great Gatsby' Outpaces Expectations

on May 12, 2013 by Daniel Garris

Disney's Iron Man 3 grossed an estimated $72.47 million this weekend to remain in first place at the box office. The third installment of Marvel's superhero franchise fell a sizable, but understandable 58 percent from last weekend's massive opening weekend performance. In comparison, 2010's Iron Man 2 fell 59 percent in its second weekend to gross $52.04 million, while last year's Marvel's The Avengers fell 50 percent to gross $103.05 million. Without taking into account ticket price inflation, Iron Man 3 claimed the fourth largest second weekend take of all-time (The Avengers is the second weekend record holder by a wide margin over second place Avatar). Iron Man 3 has grossed $284.89 million through ten days of release. That places Iron Man 3 an impressive 35 percent ahead of the $211.20 million ten-day take of Iron Man 2 and 24 percent behind the $373.07 million ten-day start of The Avengers. Iron Man 3 will face a major test next weekend with Paramount's Star Trek Into Darkness entering the marketplace on Thursday.

On the heels of grossing $19.76 million on Friday, Iron Man 3 increased a very healthy 63 percent on Saturday to gross $32.13 million. Sunday's estimated take is $20.58 million. The strong Saturday performance (for the second straight weekend) is further evidence that Iron Man 3 is skewing more towards family audiences than The Avengers and previous Iron Man films did. Iron Man 3 may have also received a small boost this weekend from moviegoers wanting to catch the film before Star Trek Into Darkness arrives on the scene.

Overseas, Iron Man 3 grossed $89.3 million from 55 foreign territories this weekend.  That brings the film's overseas total to $664.1 million and current global haul to $949.0 million.

This weekend's other big story was the stronger than expected debut performance of Warner's The Great Gatsby. The Baz Luhrmann directed film starring Leonardo DiCaprio held its own this weekend against Iron Man 3 with an estimated second place take of $51.12 million. A strong marketing campaign, the widespread appeal of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel and DiCaprio's drawing power were all key components to the film's success this weekend. Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, The Great Gatsby represented the second largest debut of DiCaprio's career (ranking behind the $62.79 million debut of 2010's Inception and ahead of the $41.06 million start of 2010's Shutter Island). The Great Gatsby opened 72 percent stronger than the $29.69 million debut of Dark Shadows, which was launched by Warner Bros. over Mother's Day weekend last year.

The Mother's Day holiday is expected to help the Sunday hold for The Great Gatsby. After opening with $19.37 million on Friday (including $3.25 million from late night Thursday business) the film fell 9 percent to gross $17.64 million on Saturday and is estimated to gross $14.11 million on Sunday. The estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio for The Great Gatsby stands at 2.64 to 1. The film earned a B rating on CinemaScore, which could point towards potential front-loading for the film going forward. The audience breakdown for The Great Gatsby skewed towards female moviegoers (59 percent) and heavily towards older moviegoers (69 percent of the audience was over the age of 25). 3D grosses represented a modest 33 percent of the film's total gross this weekend; making this weekend's performance even more impressive. After a very rough start to 2013 for Warner Bros., the studio was rebounded nicely as of late with The Great Gatsby and 42 before it.

On the other end of the box office spectrum, Tyler Perry Presents Peeples debuted in fourth place with a very disappointing estimated $4.85 million start. The Lionsgate comedy starring Craig Robinson and Kerry Washington opened well below pre-release expectations. Clearly, Tyler Perry's fanbase wasn't very interested in the film, which Perry was only involved with as a producer. Peeples opened 68 percent softer than the $15.22 million start of Jumping the Broom over Mother's Day weekend back in 2011. Peeples grossed just $1.19 million on Friday, increased 45 percent to gross $1.72 million on Saturday and is estimated to take in $1.94 million on Sunday. The estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio for the film is 4.09 to 1.  Peeples earned a lackluster B- rating on CinemaScore.

After the hits taken from the opening weekend rush-out of Iron Man 3 last weekend (and with added help from Mother's Day), holdovers tended to stabilize this weekend. Paramount's Pain and Gain fell 33 percent to place in third with an estimated $5.0 million, Warner's 42 was down just 23 percent to take fifth with an estimated $4.65 million and Universal's Oblivion decreased 31 percent to land in sixth with an estimated $3.9 million. Respective total grosses stand at $84.73 million for 42 in 31 days, at $81.69 million for Oblivion in 24 days and at $41.61 million for Pain and Gain in 17 days.

In limited release, Roadside's Mud continued to hold up nicely upon expanding into additional 278 locations this weekend. The low-budget drama starring Matthew McConaughey grossed an estimated $2.34 million to rank in ninth place among all films. Mud increased 8 percent over last weekend and has remained a very consistent performer throughout its run thus far. The 17-day total for Mud stands at $8.36 million.

Tags: Mud, Oblivion, 42, Pain and Gain, Peeples, The Great Gatsby, Iron Man 3

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