Paramount mines ‘Iron’ box office

Comicbook sequel passes the $300 million mark

With summer getting off to a ho-hum start — though this weekend’s opening of Disney/Pixar’s “Toy Story 3” could change the tune — some recent holdovers and first-quarter releases have nonetheless turned in impressive performances this year at the domestic box office.

Paramount’s comicbook sequel “Iron Man 2” crossed the $300 million mark Wednesday, making it the 13th title in the past five years to reach the benchmark. Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland” ($333.9 million) marks the only other title this year to do so.

Twentieth Century Fox earned massive revenues with last year’s release of “Avatar,” which has grossed $465.7 million in 2010 alone. Pic’s overall domestic take stands as the all-time highest gross of $749.3 million. The total for the studio’s top-grossing 2010 release, “Date Night,” stands at $96.3 million.

“The key is having great product,” said Par’s vice chair Rob Moore. “When movies are exciting, people are going to show up.”

To date, box office totals are up 3% over last year. Par currently has the top market share, totalling $971.8 million with five 2010 titles.

Other top grossers include the year’s 3D titles, led by Par’s toon pair “How to Train Your Dragon” ($214.4 million) and “Shrek Forever After” ($210 million), as well as Warner Bros.’ “Clash of the Titans,” which has grossed $159.3 million.

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