Robert Downey Jr., Iron Man 2

Francois Duhamel/Paramount Pictures

The Dark Knight and Spider-Man 3 have company, but not a new landlord.

Iron Man 2 started off the summer with a $133.6 million Friday-Sunday bang, per estimates, the fifth-biggest opening of all time, and the third-biggest superhero debut behind Batman and the Web Slinger. 

So, basically, Iron Man 2 was big and strong and everything it was supposed to be—with one exception.  

It wasn't what the most outsized expectations thought it might be.

Going into the weekend, box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations was calling for a Dark Knight-besting $160 million opening weekend. ("In all honesty, I'm thinking more like $150 mil," analyst Chad Hartigan said in an email last week, "but if you're gonna go there you might as well go all the way!") The Los Angeles Times reported the film was due for a debut of at least $140 million.

Iron Man presumably was content with being merely, if not historically, big. Batman and Spider-Man presumably were pretty happy with the way things worked out, too. 

More results: 

Here's how Iron Man 2's weekend broke down, per Paramount Pictures: $52.3 million on Friday (seventh biggest of all-time); $46.5 million on Saturday; and, $34.8 million projected for today.

In the battle of Iron Man 2 versus Iron Man, it's no contest: The new guy has it all over the oldster. The original opened with $98.6 million in 2008. 

After Dark Knight ($158.4 million debut) and Spider-Man 3 ($151.1 million), New Moon ($142.8 million) and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest ($135.6 million) are the only other films to have opened bigger than Iron Man 2.

So, about Iron Man 2's competition this weekend… Er, what competition? Among the top 12 moneymakers, Robert Downey Jr.'s high-flying flick accounted for nearly 80 percent of all ticket sales, per Exhibitor Relations.   

As far as the decimated went, Steve Carell's and Tina Fey's Date Night ($5.3 million; $80.9 million overall) held up the best.

With the arrival of Iron Man 2, the un-super Kick-Ass ($1.5 million) got booted from the Top 10 after three weekends and $45.3 million domestically.  

Babies ($1.6 million off 534 screens) made the Top 10—a big deal for a documentary. Still, its per-screen average wasn't all that.

The Mother's Day-timed drama Mother and Child ($44,488 off only four screens) was, theater for theater, the weekend's biggest movie not named you-know-what. 

Here's a rundown of the weekend's top-grossing films, aka Iron Man 2 and a bunch of also-rans, per Friday-Sunday estimates compiled by Exhibitor Relations:

  1. Iron Man 2, $133.6 million
  2. A Nightmare on Elm Street, $9.2 million
  3. How to Train Your Dragon, $6.8 million
  4. Date Night, $5.3 million
  5. The Back-Up Plan, $4.3 million
  6. Furry Vengeance, $4 million
  7. Clash of the Titans, $2.3 million
  8. Death at a Funeral, $2.1 million
  9. The Losers, $1.8 million
  10. Babies, $1.6 million

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Still not getting your recommended daily requirement of Iron Man? Check out our coverage of the latest film's star-packed premiere.

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