For the second time, Disney kickstarts the summer box office a week early internationally with a Marvel property — this time, “Iron Man 3.”
Last year, Disney gave “The Avengers” an overseas headstart, resulting in a massive $185 million from 39 markets. By comparison, “Iron Man 3” opens in 46 territories, of which 12 (including France and Australia) opened the pic Wednesday, totaling $13.2 million.
Bowing this weekend domestically are Paramount’s mid-budgeted “Pain and Gain” and Lionsgate’s comedy “The Big Wedding.” Tracking in the high teens, “Pain and Gain” should win the weekend, followed by Universal’s soph sesh holdover “Oblivion,” which is expected to drop to $15 million or so. “Big Wedding,” meanwhile, should land somewhere north of $10 million.
Internationally, “Iron Man 3” scored the second-biggest Marvel opening in Oz, behind “The Avengers,” with $3.4 million; the three-quel beat “Avengers” in Gaul with $3 million locally.
The newest Marvel property bows Stateside May 3, giving it a week left of advanced sales, thanks to newly negotiated terms between Disney and exhibs AMC and Regal. The leading circuits, along with Cinemark, stopped selling advanced tickets of “Iron Man 3” early last week, when Disney tried to use the film as leverage for higher box office shares.
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As for the early overseas launchpad, Disney modeled its Marvel strategy after Paramount, which bowed “Iron Man 2” a week before the U.S. in 2010. That film — which actually was the first Marvel pic under Disney’s ownership, with Par distributing overseas — went on to collect $100 million during its opening weekend internationally.
“Iron Man 3” also marks the last film included in the Par-Marvel divorce: Par will receive 9% of the film’s revenues across all worldwide distribution platforms, including homevideo, VOD and down the line. The studio took home 8% of “Avengers” earnings.
This weekend’s domestic box office totals will be modest, though year-over-year comparisons won’t be that bad since “Think Like a Man” was last year’s top earner with $17.6 million.
“Pain and Gain,” a passion project for Michael Bay, cost a manageable $26 million. The film, however, received poor reviews — even some reported walkouts from CinemaCon two weeks ago. Par added more than 300 locations for the film since early this morning. The pic stars Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson as body builders who attempt a botched kidnapping for collateral.
Based on a French laffer, “The Big Wedding,” which stars Robert De Niro, Susan Sarandon, Amanda Seyfried and Diane Keaton, should attract a mostly adult female audience. Lionsgate bought spots on TLC and Lifetime, as well as launching a nationwide mom blogger campaign. According to Lionsgate, the film will be well-positioned financially with a bow north of $10 million.
At the specialty box office, Cinedigm launches Colin Firth-Emily Blunt starrer “Arthur Newman” at roughly 250 Stateside locations, while Roadside Attractions’ Dickensian modern Southern tale, “Mud,” bows at 363 domestically.
Film (Distributor): Locations
- Pain and Gain (Par): 3,277
- The Big Wedding (Lionsgate): 2,633
- Mud (Roadside): 363
- Arthur Newman (Cinedigm): 250
- At Any Price (Sony Classics): 4
- The Reluctant Fundamentalist (IFC): 3
- Kon-Tiki (Weinstein): 2