Paramount Pictures and its baby mama Marvel Studios were the proud parents of an explosive new movie franchise as the super hero film Iron Man blasted off to jaw-dropping ticket sales around the world officially kicking off the summer blockbuster season. The comic book actioner led the overall box office to its biggest weekend of the year and accounted for two-thirds of all business in the top ten. Opening in second with commendable numbers was the wedding-themed romantic comedy Made of Honor which gave women not interested in flying metal men something to see. Following a dismal spring season, the summer got started with a bang.
Iron Man crushed its competitors this weekend with a stunning estimate of $100.8M in ticket sales over the Friday-to-Sunday period delivering the tenth largest opening of all-time and the second highest ever for a non-sequel after the $114.8M of 2002's Marvel Comics sibling Spider-Man. The Robert Downey Jr. flick began its run on Thursday at 8pm with advance showtimes grossing $3.5M in the four-hour period ending at midnight, the official start of Friday. That amounted to a gargantuan $104.3M in just over three days easily outdistancing industry expectations which were in the $70-90M range. Co-starring Jeff Bridges, Terrence Howard, and Gwyneth Paltrow, the Jon Favreau-directed blockbuster averaged a stellar $24,543 from a saturation release in 4,105 theaters.
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