Weekend Box Office (May 10 - 12, 2013)

by Gitesh Pandya

THIS WEEKEND Super hero love kept Iron Man 3 in the number one spot for a second weekend in a row while the lavish period saga The Great Gatsby overperformed in second place offering effective counter-programming. It was the first time in nearly a year that two films did over $50M in business over the same frame.

Audiences still came out in droves for Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man 3 which fell an understandable 58% in its second frame to $72.5M, according to final studio figures, holding steady at number one. That brought the amazing cume to a stunning $284.9M for Disney. The decline was not as good as the 50% of The Avengers from last year, however it was about even with the 59% of Iron Man 2 from 2010. Those sophomore weekends were $103.1M and $52M, respectively so the Mandarin pic's gross fell right in the middle. For a super hero threequel coming off a gargantuan opening weekend, it was a good hold. The average was a terrific $17,053 from 4,253 sites.

Iron Man 3 is now just days away from joining the list of All-Time Domestic Blockbusters and could be on course to finish in the neighborhood of $425M. Overseas, Iron Man brought in another hefty sum collecting an estimated $89.3M in its third round to raise the international total to $664.1M and the worldwide haul to an eye-popping $949M. Compared to Avengers which had mostly the same release pattern a year ago, the Marvel sequel now stands 6% ahead in overseas grosses but 5% behind in global sales thanks to the domestic difference. Avengers broke the billion dollar mark at the end of its third frame, but the fact that Iron Man 3 is in the same vicinity at all is nothing short of amazing since the super hero assembly went on to become the third highest-grossing blockbuster in history. Leading the way for Iron Man 3 overseas is still China with $95.3M followed by Korea's $54.1M, and the United Kingdom's $48.3M.

Opening with spectacular results in second place was the lavish 1920s-set saga The Great Gatsby with $50.1M from 3,535 theaters for a sizzling $14,168 average, beating industry expectations in the process. Based on the classic American novel, the PG-13 film starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, and Carey Mulligan played as effective female-skewing counter-programming to the male-skewing Iron Man sequel. Studio research showed that the Gatsby audience was 59% female and 69% over the age of 25. Reviews were mixed with many top critics panning it, however moviegoers came out for the brand, the starpower, and the style. Plus music from executive producer Jay Z and other current artists helped to broaden the appeal. 3D screens accounted for only 33% of the gross.

The international roll-out of Gatsby kicks off this Wednesday with the much-hyped opening night screening at the Cannes Film Festival. Warner Bros. will use that media event to launch the stylish Baz Lurhmann film into overseas markets with 49 territories debuting by next weekend including most major countries except China and Japan.

Michael Bay's pet project Pain & Gain followed with $5M in its third round dipping 33%. Paramount has collected $41.6M thus far.

Audiences showed that if Tyler Perry isn't writing and/or directing, they're not interested. The new comedy Peeples, which the media mogul produced, was met with empty theaters nationwide opening to only $4.6M from 2,041 locations for a dismal $2,259 average. For Perry's directorial efforts, opening weekends reach a minimum of $15M from the same level of theaters and has even reached beyond $30M on more than one occasion. The weekend estimate includes a Sunday figure that is up from Saturday as Lionsgate is hoping for a Mother's Day boost.

A Meet the Parents-style flick but with a black cast instead of white, Peeples aggressively used "Tyler Perry Presents" in its marketing in an effort to tap into the filmmaker's large and loyal fan base, but ticket buyers were not fooled. The film opened even worse than last fall's Alex Cross which saw Perry contribute as just an actor. That crime thriller bowed to only $11.4M. Reviews were generally negative and the B- CinemaScore means word of mouth is lukewarm so don't look for legs here.

The period baseball flick 42 dipped 24% to $4.6M for Warner Bros. pushing the sum up to $84.7M. Next up was Tom Cruise's sc-fi pic Oblivion with $4.1M, down 27%, and a cume of $81.9M for Universal.

Dropping a mere 14% to $3.6M was the animated hit The Croods which has given Fox a robust $173.2M to date. The Matthew McConaughey-Reese Witherspoon indie drama Mud expanded to 854 theaters and held up well with $2.5M this weekend, up 17%.

Lionsgate's recent flop The Big Wedding grossed $2.5M as well, down 36%, for a weak $18.3M cume to date. Rounding out the top ten was Disney's Oz the Great and Powerful which dropped 49% to $1.1M lifting the stellar total to $230.3M.

The top ten films grossed $150.6.2M which was down 6% from last year when The Avengers remained at number one with $103.1M; but up 19% from 2011 when Thor stayed in the top spot with $34.7M.

Compared to projections, The Great Gatsby soared ahead of my $31M forecast while Peeples made a fraction of my $14M prediction.

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Watch the NEW Mother's Day video from Monsters University.

Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Star Trek Into Darkness opens.

# Title May 10 - 12 May 3 - 5 % Chg. Theaters Weeks AVG Cumulative Distributor
1 Iron Man 3 $ 72,525,615 $ 174,144,585 -58.4 4,253 2 $ 17,053 $ 284,946,699 Disney
2 The Great Gatsby 50,085,184 3,535 1 14,168 50,085,184 Warner Bros.
3 Pain & Gain 5,001,029 7,511,315 -33.4 3,303 3 1,514 41,609,229 Paramount
4 Peeples 4,611,534 2,041 1 2,259 4,611,534 Lionsgate
5 42 4,588,209 6,055,327 -24.2 2,930 5 1,566 84,670,088 Warner Bros.
6 Oblivion 4,114,665 5,642,335 -27.1 2,770 4 1,485 81,906,280 Universal
7 The Croods 3,609,028 4,202,639 -14.1 2,650 8 1,362 173,224,505 Fox
8 Mud 2,535,642 2,160,319 17.4 854 3 2,969 8,555,621 Roadside Attr.
9 The Big Wedding 2,490,362 3,881,857 -35.8 2,298 3 1,084 18,278,053 Lionsgate
10 Oz the Great and Powerful 1,078,233 2,113,009 -49.0 774 10 1,393 230,260,553 Disney
11 Olympus Has Fallen 741,518 1,194,650 -37.9 836 8 887 96,619,142 FilmDistrict
12 The Place Beyond The Pines 705,333 1,280,152 -44.9 669 7 1,054 20,008,869 Focus
13 Scary Movie 5 675,942 1,441,360 -53.1 1,007 5 671 30,613,972 Weinstein Co.
14 Jurassic Park 3D 633,935 896,750 -29.3 653 6 971 44,752,845 Universal
15 G.I. Joe: Retaliation 607,403 1,270,094 -52.2 750 7 810 119,764,294 Paramount
16 The Company You Keep 400,501 703,465 -43.1 394 6 1,017 4,130,751 Sony Classics
17 Evil Dead 291,266 614,524 -52.6 443 6 657 53,756,774 Sony
18 Jack the Giant Slayer 247,325 295,425 -16.3 281 11 880 64,482,913 Warner Bros.
19 Identity Thief 192,585 204,010 -5.6 279 14 690 133,714,590 Universal
20 Temptation 186,995 411,592 -54.6 278 7 673 51,699,494 Lionsgate
Top 5 $ 136,811,571 $ 197,556,201 -30.7
Top 10 150,639,501 208,432,898 -27.7
Top 20 155,322,304 214,432,956 -27.6
Top 20 vs. 2012 155,322,304 167,423,264 -7.2

Last Updated: May 13, 2013 at 11:00PM ET

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