While Paramount and Marvel Entertainment’s “Iron Man 2” continued its domestic domination this weekend, Universal-Imagine Entertainment’s epic “Robin Hood” proved potent on the international front.
Stateside figures for “Robin Hood” were moderate, with an estimated $37.1 million at 3,503 locations, but were augmented by a healthy $74 million start overseas for an estimated worldwide launch of $111.1 million.
Still, U’s epic tale couldn’t catch “Iron Man 2” domestically. Sequel fell 59% in its soph sesh for an estimated take of $53 million at 4,390; worldwide cume now stands at a hefty $450.4 million.
A pair of femme-driven openers fell in line behind the majors’ B.O. heavyweights.
Summit’s “Letters to Juliet,” toplining Amanda Seyfried and Vanessa Redgrave, opened with an estimated $13.8 million at 2,968 engagements, followed by Fox Searchlight’s Queen Latifah starrer “Just Wright,” with an estimated $8.5 million at 1,831.
Focus Features’ “Babies” continued cooing after a profitable opening last weekend. Docu dropped 54% in its second outing for an estimated weekend take of $1 million at 543 locations, bringing its domestic cume to $3.9 million.
After last weekend’s $128.1 million domestic debut, “Iron Man 2” was expected to reap top coin this weekend. “Robin Hood” was relegated to the No. 2 spot domestically but matched studio expectations.
Nikki Rocco, prexy of domestic distribution for U, admitted that given the presence of “Iron Man 2” in the market, the studio remained realistic about “Robin Hood’s” domestic projections.
“The intent was always that this was going to be a global film,” Rocco said. “Because of the way the world is today, you have to look at a film like this as a global effort.
“And so domestically, it’s where we thought it would be,” she added.
With an estimated $155 million budget, “Robin Hood” boasts major overseas appeal, shot in the U.K. by Brit helmer Ridley Scott and starring Aussies Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett. While international prospects are strong, some insiders question the film’s domestic playability, especially given its B- CinemaScore rating from U.S. auds.
“Robin Hood” scored best among older men, with a 56%-44% male-female split.
In fact, older auds accounted for most of the moviegoers as many teens were tied up at high school proms this weekend.
Summit sneaked “Letters” last weekend, timed for a strategic Mother’s Day promotion. “Letters” nabbed an A- CinemaScore rating and, according to Summit prexy of domestic distribution Richie Fay, will continue to benefit from positive word of mouth among its core female demo.
Like “Letters,” the femme-driven “Just Wright” was effective counterprogramming to “Robin Hood” and “Iron Man 2.”
“Iron Man 2” fell 51% on Saturday and 70% Friday, mainly because of added midnight grosses opening day.
Par vice chair Rob Moore attributed the sequel’s top weekend performance, in part, to strong turnouts mid-day Saturday, when it grossed $24.5 million.
“Certainly, given the way the movie played (Saturday), you can say people are becoming comfortable with the age range they can bring to the movie,” Moore said. “So the movie is doing a lot of daytime business.”
It’s Par’s sixth chart-topping weekend this year — the most of any studio. Martin Scorsese’s “Shutter Island,” 3D toon “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Iron Man 2” each topped the frame twice.
“Dragon,” which has gone relatively unchallenged on the kid front, fell just 23% in its eighth frame, earning an estimated $5.1 million; domestic cume is $207.8 million. Toon could finally give up auds next weekend to Par and DreamWorks Animation’s “Shrek Forever After.”
Other prominent holdovers included Warner Bros. and New Line’s horror reboot “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and 20th Century Fox’s romantic comedy “Date Night.”
“Nightmare” dropped 48% in its third frame, grossing an estimated $4.7 million, while “Date Night” slipped 27% in its sixth frame for an estimated weekend take of $4 million. Pics’ cumes stand at $56.1 million and $86.7 million, respectively.
In limited release, Sony Pictures Classics expanded Rodrigo Garcia’s “Mother and Child” to 18 locations in its soph sesh. Pic earned an estimated $58,791 for a low-end per-screen average of $3,266, boosting its U.S. total to $117,638.
Roadside Attractions launched historical biopic “Princess Kaiulani” at 33 playdates, estimating $184,750. “Princess,” starring Q’orianka Kilcher as the last Hawaiian monarch, scored a per-screen average of $5,598.
“Robin Hood” debuted day-and-date in 56 territories on 6,944 screens. Driven by stand-out perfs in the U.K. and France, launch stands as the studio’s second-highest overseas behind “King Kong,” which debuted with $84.3 million in 2005. Opening also ranks as the highest for Scott and Crowe, surpassing 2000’s “Gladiator” ($43.1 million) by 72%.
“Robin Hood” debuted in the top spot in 52 territories, including the U.K., where it grossed an estimated $6.8 million on 539 screens.
Pic’s opening-night slot at the Cannes Film Festival increased visibility for French auds, who shelled out an estimated $6.8 million at 648.
The film should continue its healthy run in most European markets and Australia, where it estimated $5.2 million on 271 screens. U has yet to launch the film in key Asian markets — China will get the film in June and Japan gets it in November.
Meanwhile, China ranks as one of “Iron Man 2’s” biggest overseas contributors, with an estimated $4.4 million on 3,000 screens, bringing the territory’s overall total to $16.7 million. Pic’s weekend international take hit $31 million for a cume of $238.2 million.