Weekend Box Office (May 14 - 16, 2010)

by Sujit Chawla

THIS WEEKEND In a battle of dueling heroes, the man in the suit of iron defeated the English archer as Iron Man 2 held on in its second frame to take down Russell Crowe's Robin Hood, although Robin Hood did open at #1 internationally this weekend.

Falling 59% from its blockbuster opening, Paramount's Iron Man 2 collected $52M this weekend bringing its cume to $211.2M, according to final studio figures. The second weekend was only $1M ahead of the original Iron Man which fell 48% from its opening weekend to $51.2M. Sequels are generally front-loaded so this second weekend fall was expected. With strong mid-week grosses, the weekend drops should start to level out over the next few weeks. After its first two weeks, Iron Man had grossed $177.8M on its way to a final total of $318.4M. If Iron Man 2 plays out in the same manner, it could end up with a final gross in the $350M range, which, while spectacular, would still be on the low end of pre-summer expectations.

Opening in second place with an estimated $36.1M was Robin Hood, the latest collaboration from Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott. This origin story of the famed 'steal from the rich, give to the poor' folk hero had a per screen average of $10,295 which was a little less than the Oscar-winning Gladiator had a little over 10 years ago. That movie opened with a nearly identical $34.8M on its way to a final gross $187.7M, and of course a bunch of Academy Awards. Don't expect Robin Hood to fare the same, at least in North America. Exit polls had the audience at 56% male and 63% at 30 years or older, with a CinemaScore grade of only a B-, meaning there will be rocky roads ahead. Internationally however, it was a different story as Robin Hood opened with $74M from 56 territories, making it the second biggest international opening for distributor Universal, behind only King Kong. That puts the total global opening at $110M. And just for the sake of fun, Kevin Costner's Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves opened in the summer of 1991 to $25.6M and a per screen average of $10,817 on its way to a $165.5M total. It could be a little embarassing to Crowe/Scott if their Robin Hood can't hit the same heights as Kevin Costner did nearly 20 years ago.

Also debuting this weekend was the romance Letters to Juliet which grossed $13.5M from 2,968 theaters, for a per screen average of $4,562. Starring Amanda Seyfried and Vanessa Redgrave, the Summit release, as one might expect, played 81% female with 63% of the audience being over 25. The film was a good counter product to the male-heavy action films and had a very strong CinemaScore of A- meaning good word of mouth could help propel this film to a strong finish.

The last of the three major films opening this weekend was the Queen Latifah starrer Just Wright. The romantic-comedy, which centers around a professional basketball player coming back from injury, opened with $8.3M and a per screen average of $4,525. The opening was decent, but not great, and should find a bigger audience on DVD for Fox Searchlight.

Landing in the top five again in its eight weekend of release was DreamWorks' How To Train Your Dragon which fell only 25% to $5M lifting the animation sensation to $207.6M. Falling 49% and landing in sixth place was Freddy Krueger and A Nightmare on Elm Street which slashed up $4.7M this weekend, bringing its cume to $56.1M.

The comedy pairing of Steve Carell and Tina Fey once again held on strongly, dropping only 30% from last weekend with Date Night, which grossed $3.8M bringing its total to $86.5M. Fellow romantic-comedy The Back-Up Plan hasn't fared nearly as well, falling this weekend by 53% to $2.4M, bringing its disappointing cume to $34.1M.

Rounding out the top 10 were two films with opposite trajectories. Furry Vengeance ended up in the 9th spot this week with $2.2M bringing its total to $15.1M, while Clash of the Titans took in $1.2M bringing its total to a robust $160.1M.

The top ten films grossed $129.3M which was up 1% from last year when Angels & Demons opened in the top spot with $46.2M; and up 4% from 2008 when The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian opened at number one with $55M.

Compared to projections, Robin Hood opened above Gitesh's $27M forecast while Letters to Juliet and Just Wright debuted close to his $15M and $9M predictions.

Get earlier box office updates and analysis by following BoxOfficeGuru.com on Twitter.

For reviews of Robin Hood and Iron Man 2 visit The Chief Report.

Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Shrek Forever After and MacGruber open.

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# Title May 14 - 16 May 7 - 9 % Chg. Theaters Weeks AVG Cumulative Distributor
1 Iron Man 2 $ 52,041,005 $ 128,122,480 -59.4 4,390 2 $ 11,854 $ 211,200,876 Paramount
2 Robin Hood 36,063,385 3,503 1 10,295 36,063,385 Universal
3 Letters to Juliet 13,540,486 2,968 1 4,562 13,540,486 Summit
4 Just Wright 8,284,989 1,831 1 4,525 8,284,989 Fox Searchlight
5 How To Train Your Dragon 5,003,536 6,680,374 -25.1 2,620 8 1,910 207,647,696 Paramount
6 A Nightmare on Elm Street 4,657,190 9,119,389 -48.9 3,075 3 1,515 56,066,595 Warner Bros.
7 Date Night 3,823,515 5,448,257 -29.8 2,481 6 1,541 86,522,622 Fox
8 The Back-up Plan 2,387,480 5,033,471 -52.6 2,497 4 956 34,124,782 CBS
9 Furry Vengeance 2,242,106 4,478,107 -49.9 2,695 3 832 15,089,070 Summit
10 Clash of the Titans 1,231,396 2,503,251 -50.8 1,300 7 947 160,127,747 Warner Bros.
11 Death at a Funeral 1,138,148 2,308,743 -50.7 1,062 5 1,072 40,495,964 Sony
12 Babies 995,660 2,161,460 -53.9 543 2 1,834 3,881,116 Focus
13 Oceans 752,018 1,605,936 -53.2 973 4 773 17,669,450 Buena Vista
14 The Last Song 544,414 1,173,148 -53.6 802 7 679 61,240,388 Buena Vista
15 Kick-Ass 539,997 1,504,959 -64.1 609 5 887 46,616,232 Lionsgate
16 The Losers 458,406 1,847,290 -75.2 701 4 654 22,760,516 Warner Bros.
17 City Island 442,158 609,264 -27.4 253 9 1,748 3,608,560 Anchor Bay
18 Alice in Wonderland 440,202 712,721 -38.2 403 11 1,092 331,533,915 Buena Vista
19 Diary of a Wimpy Kid 386,876 449,913 -14.0 468 9 827 61,978,694 Fox
20 The Secret in Their Eyes 368,338 384,191 -4.1 103 5 3,576 2,092,199 Sony Classics
Top 5 $ 114,933,401 $ 154,403,971 -25.6
Top 10 129,275,088 167,702,822 -22.9
Top 20 135,341,305 175,564,246 -22.9
Top 20 vs. 2009 135,341,305 134,632,921 0.5

Last Updated: May 17, 2010 at 7:00PM ET

Watch Gitesh Pandya's weekly box office preview on CNN International airing live each Thursday at 7:40pm ET.