by Joal Ryan | Tue., May. 11, 2010 6:48 AM
Heavy is the armor that Iron Man wears.
Pegged to challenge, if not break, The Dark Knight's opening-weekend box-office record, the $200 million Iron Man 2 didn't lay a metal glove on Batman. The final grosses released Monday afternoon, in fact, left the Robert Downey Jr. sequel even further behind.
Is this what a summer blockbuster acts like? Or is this what a summer disappointment looks like?
Actually, after taking a chill pill, we decided this is what we look like when we don't take a chill pill.
Look, Iron Man 2 made a lot of money. Repeat, a lot of money.
Even marked down $5.5 million from Sunday's studio estimate—make no mistake, a bigger-than-usual correction—the film grossed $128.1 million in its first 72 hours here. Worldwide, Box Office Mojo has the film at more $585 million overall.
It is one of only 15 films in Hollywood history to open with $100 million-plus. Of those, its opening weekend remains the fifth-biggest on record.
This is what a summer blockbuster acts—and looks—like. And that nagging feeling that it should have made more or been more is just that: a nagging feeling. And not reality.
"This is why I think predictions are so crazy," Hollywood.com box-office analyst Paul Dergarabedian told us today. "I got caught up in it, too."
That he did. Originally, the oft-quoted Dergarabedian was quoted as saying he thought Iron Man 2 would open in the neighborhood of $120 million. Then he saw other analysts pushing Batman-busting projections of $160 million. Soon, Dergarabedian got the fever, and revised his prediction upward, to $140 million.
"Always go with your gut," the presumably older-but-wiser Dergarabedian said, "and try not to get caught up in the hype."
Easier said than done. Hollywood's as in love with promoting broken records as the media and the public are in playing them.
"It's what our country is about. We love seeing No. 1," Yahoo! Movies executive producer Sean Phillips said. "We love creating new heroes."
We also specialize in destroying old ones. So be warned, Iron Man: We'll be watching your second weekend, although hopefully with chill pills nearby.