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Russell Crowe, Robin Hood

David Appleby/Universal Studios

Robin Hood wasn't supposed to beat Iron Man 2. And it didn't.

The Russell Crowe-Ridley Scott bow-and-arrow epic opened in second place at the weekend box office with an estimated $37.1 million. Reigning champ Iron Man 2 returned to No. 1 with $53 million.

More results, including the debuts of Letters to Juliet and Just Wright:

To quibble with success, Iron Man 2 did not hold up as well as its predecessor. The original Robert Downey Jr. film showed great legs in its second weekend, with ticket sales falling less than 50 percent from its big opening weekend. Iron Man 2 was down nearly 60 percent from its, granted, even bigger opening weekend.

Sure, projections shouldn't be taken seriously, but… If you must know, Iron Man 2 was expected to make about $60 million this weekend. Robin Hood was supposed to hit at least $40 million.

It was that kind of weekend for Hollywood: smaller than expected. The Amanda Seyfried-Vanessa Redgrave romantic drama Letters to Juliet didn't break $15 million (it did $13.8 million); the Queen Latifah romantic comedy Just Wright didn't reach $10 million (it did $8.5 million).

How to Train Your Dragon initially didn't do what it was expected to do, either. And it just broke $200 million domestically. (It's at $207.8 million.)

After two weekends, Iron Man 2 has grossed $212.2 million domestically. At the same point in its run, Iron Man was at $177.8 million

As of midweek, the $200 million-ish Iron Man 2 was pushing $400 million worldwide.

The who-knows-how-much-ish Robin Hood was a bigger force overseas than it was here. In foreign markets, the Crowe film muscled its way to $74 million, making it the weekend's No. 1 worldwide movie.

  At one theater, the Jesse Eisenberg indie comedy The Living Wake sorta killed: $4,800.

Here's a rundown of the weekend's top-grossing films, per Friday-Sunday estimates compiled by Exhibitor Relations:

  1. Iron Man 2, $53 million
  2. Robin Hood, $37.1 million
  3. Letters to Juliet, $13.8 million
  4. Just Wright, $8.5 million
  5. How to Train Your Dragon, $5.1 million
  6. A Nightmare on Elm Street, $4.7 million
  7. Date Night, $4 million
  8. The Back-Up Plan, $2.5 million
  9. Furry Vengeance, $2.3 million
  10. Clash of the Titans, $1.3 million