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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday O' Iron

I am computer challenged this morning, so again, the full Friday estimates are on the front page.
But the one folks are talking about… and the one Paramount is actually offering on a Saturday morning, is Iron Man’s $32.8m Friday. Including 8p and on Thursday previews (which really makes of a 4 day… but whatever) and leaning on last summer’s Spider-Man 3 numbers from the slot last summer (down 14 percent, then 22), looks to be about $88m by Monday.
Made Of Honor looking at about $14, which tells you all you need to know about Mr Dempsey’s movie career.

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63 Responses to “Friday O' Iron”

  1. waterbucket says:

    Wait, I don’t get it. What does it say about Dempsey’s movie career? B-list?

  2. DailyRich says:

    I don’t get basing Iron Man’s possible total on Spidey 3’s last year. First of all, Iron Man is a better and seemingly better-liked film, and it’s the first entry as opposed to the third. The correlation doesn’t make much sense.

  3. brack says:

    $14m for Made of Honor doesn’t sound so bad considering there’s no real female lead star.
    Sounds like a great start for Iron Man. I hope Speed Racer doesn’t get lost, but it looks like it might.

  4. R Scott R says:

    I don’t know what a $14 million start means either. It’s no “Iron Man” but at least it’s not “The assassination of Jesse James.” and Brad Pitt is still a movie star.
    What was the last thing Dempsey was in? As a TV actor trying to make it on the big screen, $14 million sounds pretty good.

  5. djiggs says:

    Just based on boxofficemojo’s all time weekend numbers of around $80 million dollar weekends, I think that Iron Man is looking at least $250 million domestic.
    Dave, I am also wondering what type of reaction your screening audience had with the film. If your audience was anything like Thursday evening show that I went to, your opinion on the film was probably a minority of one. I was sitting by the only exit door as I waited for the special “Fur”ious cookie at the end of the credits. Out of the 250 people who left the showing, every single person had a smile on their face, laughing about the movie, and reenacting their favorite scenes. I was especially laughing about how many kids (age 10 & under) were saying “I am Iron Man” and “Let’s see it again”.
    Regarding critics giving this movie a pass, I send you back to your own website at Michael Wilmington’s review or Owen Gleiberman’s review-I think that both make the fair assessment that while this a B+/3 star movie-it is still a lot of great fun.
    I really thinks this one will have legs.

  6. jeffmcm says:

    $14m sounds pretty good for a movie starring a guy who hasn’t headlined a theatrical release in 15+ years.

  7. Geoff says:

    I have to admit the “Made of Honor” number was a bit lower than I expected, because I thought it would clear $20 million. But then again, I did not think Iron Man would be as strong, I’m sure Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Baby Mama took away a little, and I’m pretty sure that I had the numbers Heigl delivered for 27 Dresses in mind.
    But really, how long has it been since Dempsey toplined a Hollywood movie? Like 20 years?? I would have to think this is pretty solid.
    As for Iron Man, big numbers – very happy for Downey and Fav’s – I don’t care what any one says and even though the reviews have been good, there’s been a good amount of condescention towards Jon Favreau and his directing abilities – he is on the A list, now, and deserves a lot of credit.
    I think the movie is going to have a typical comic-book trajectory and open to $86 million and end up at $240 total.

    Does anyone else think this article makes Hancock look even less appealing?

  9. Scott Mendelson says:

    Obviously, the saturation marketing roped along everyone, even the very women who weren’t even officially targeted. I’m dying to hear idiots blabbing about how women went soft for the love story between Pepper Potts and Tony Stark, that they approved of the ‘stand by your man’ element or whatever such nonsense.
    Nevermind that there was no hint of romance in the trailers and it’s barely in the movie for that matter (one of several underdeveloped threads that should be dealt with in the sequel). Women went for three reasons. They either went because they were dragged along by their boyfriends and husbands, they have prurient interests in Robert Downey Jr, or they went because some of them like shiny toys, manly men, comic book adventure, and explosions as much as boys do (just like they went to see 300 last year because they enjoy handsome, barely clothed muscle men wielding swords and hacking at each other as much as boys do).
    Scott Mendelson
    (two pieces now up on Iron Man numbers, including a long-ass bit on May openers vs mid-May frontrunners for those who give a crap).

  10. LYT says:

    What was MADE OF HONOR’s budget? Surely not that high. I bet it’ll be profitable ultimately, if only by a small margin.

  11. Chucky in Jersey says:

    Of course there was no hint of romance in the trailers. Par and Marvel made sure nothing got in the way of their pro-war propaganda — er, comic book movie.
    Even the scientific community says “Iron Man” glorifies military contractors.

  12. JohnBritt says:

    I got to the movie at 12. There was no seat. I had to wait until the 1 pm showing which was also packed.
    I loved this movie. It was way more entertaining for me than transformers. I felt like it had what transformers lacked. A chance to watch the machinery up close and slowly as well as fast. Transformers was just a big blur. The transformations were just too fast. I felt this movie had way more heart.
    The crowd erupted into applause at the end. So, i’m confused about why David doesn’t like it but yet is fired up over speed racer. This one was the one I have been waiting for. I had a great time at this movie. Congratulations on its success.

  13. gradystiles says:

    David, not sure where you’re getting $14 million for Made of Honor, since it made $5.5 on Friday. It’s certainly not the type of movie that will be front-loaded.

  14. Blackcloud says:

    “Par and Marvel made sure nothing got in the way of their pro-war propaganda — er, comic book movie.”
    That’s pro-war propaganda? You’d think they’d try harder. Now I’m sure that to someone on the nutroots like Chucky, anything that doesn’t scream bloody murder at Bush and Cheney is pro-war, but in the precincts of reality, that part of the story is so anodyne and generic (seriously, they could have been in Antarctica for all the specificity with which they portrayed Afghanistan), the only thing it could legitimately be accused of being is pro-explosion. Loud, frequent explosions. But if that that’s the criterion for being “pro-war,” most summer movies are pro-war. Ooops, Chucky’s paranoia is showing again.

  15. christian says:

    One disturbing thing I did just learn is that the Department of Defense actually had “control” over how Rhodes was presented since they were getting millions of free equipment. It explains his de-balling. And of course, is irony man.
    But thank gawd there was no romance between Stark and Potts, as it’s supposed to be a pining relationship. I wish Favs had not whittled his part to nothing as Hogan’s crush on Potts is cute and would’ve given the film that extra oomph.
    I went with a friend’s 50 year-old girlfriend who knows nothing of IRON MAN or comics and generally doesn’t like big dick action films. She loved this for a lotta reasons, Downey, Paltrow, the fun, the suit, the drama. And props to Favs for sticking to Downey — it’s a lesson that risks pay-off.
    Let’s hope the next film blows the first out of the water like SPIDER-MAN 2.

  16. Aladdin Sane says:

    Way to pimp your blog Scott. Quite classy.
    Seriously, why not just have it as part of your typepad profile name, like christian?

  17. jeffmcm says:

    Chucky, have you actually seen this movie? You’re really the nutball who cried wolf.
    I would think you’d be all over it since they didn’t, to paraphrase Murphy, advertise it as ‘from the director of Zathura’.

  18. Scott Mendelson says:

    I’m new at actually doing this for myself, so I’ll have to learn class as I go along. Thanks for the tip.
    Scott Mendelson
    (http://scottal… alas, he has a point, it isn’t terribly professional)

  19. Blackcloud says:

    Jeff, you’re actually quoting Murphy there. Much more effective, if you ask me.

  20. doug r says:

    Yeah, where is Don? Maybe he’s on the phone trying to get Favreau to replace Bay on Transformers 2: GM Really Needs Another Hit!

  21. doug r says:

    Looking at that Hancock story, looks like they want to play with the ideas in Larry Niven’s “Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex”

  22. martin says:

    It’s a good number, next to Spiderman it’s the best opening day for a non-sequel ever. I would expect $250 mill is reasonable at this point, 275 -280 if word of mouth is really good. Next to Hancock might be the biggest movie this summer.

  23. If Men in Black II opened to $50 mil over July 4 weekend, I don’t know why Hancock would do any better. Add to that the shitty advance reviews, and I’d say we’re looking at a disappointment. And Martin, if you think Hancock is going to be the biggest movie of the summer, you got look at these numbers a little closer.

  24. Scott Mendelson says:

    Men In Black II opened to $52 million Fri-Sun and about $90 million from Wed-Sun. It closed out with about $191 million. I’m sure Sony would be thrilled with an identical performance for Hancock.
    In general, a Will Smith vehicle opens to about $50 million 3-day and closes with between $140 million and $180 million (Hitch, Bad Boys II, Shark Tale, I, Robot). Pursuit Of Happiness reached this margin with a mere $28 million opening. Still the best and most consistent record of any actor at the moment, as Poland has correctly stated on many occasions. However, I Am Legend was an anomaly where everything just clicked (reviews, release date, trailers, etc). It shouldn’t be treated as the norm.
    Scott Mendelson

  25. I wouldn’t be surprised if it closed at around $190 mil, but that’s still not even close to being the biggest movie of the summer

  26. IOIOIOI says:

    Hancock will make some sheckles. It’s Will Smith. His movies make money. They just do because… HE’S THE BIGGEST MOVIE STAR WALKING ON THE PLANET EARTH! Give the dude some dap.
    The Iron-Man opening really does not help anything. We simply do not live in an age where an 88 million dollar opening is anything less then a disappointment.
    You can go with Heatiscle’s logic, but logic does not play to public perceptions. Iron-Man did okay. That’s the resounding message this weekend. If Iron-Man can only do “Okay”. There’s really no point in spending the money needed to make Thor a reality. So much for the Avengers.

  27. brack says:

    $88m only okay?
    It seems to be an audience pleaser, I’m sure this start is not a disappointment. I think people listen more to what their friends have to say about a movie than whether or not it breaks $100m in the first weekend.
    If anything, Iron Man will hurt Speed Racer’s opening.

  28. IOIOIOI says:

    It’s okay in terms Heatiscle loves to discuss, and he’s right in that case. However… word of mouth, overseas, and DVD revenues does not change the fact that it’s a soft-opening. Please point out to me when we stopped judging BLOCKBUSTERS recently on anything less than 100m three days (and a little extra screening cash here and there)? That’s the mark. Iron-Man falling to whatever it falls to, does not really change the discussion that needs to be made in terms of the AVENGERS.
    Again… the folks at Marvel have a plan and it has always been to make an Avengers movie. A classic Avengers movie that brings all of their TENT-POLE movies together, in one ginormous flick, that cost a fortune. A fortune they cannot put up a lone. So this opening hurts the case that will have to be made for Thor and Cap over the coming years.
    Sure. IMII will most likely become one of the highest grossing movies in the history of cinema. This does not change the fact that on the opening weekend of it’s predecessor. A film that will most likely be resoundly loved and defended for years to come… failed to knock it out of the park on it’s opening weekend. It’s a solid triple. When we really needed the grand-salami.

  29. christian says:

    Especially since Downey always opens films at a minimum of 100 million. Geez. The film is a hit. Period.

  30. jeffmcm says:

    I really don’t think Marvel’s plan is to make one movie that brings all their franchises together and costs a fortune. How on earth does it make sense to do that, when they could keep them as individual franchises that cost less each?

  31. Yeah, what are the “excuses” for an opening Friday like this?

  32. DailyRich says:

    I hardly think excuses are necessary for the second-highest non-sequel opening day of all time, behind only Spider-Man, who has a hell of a lot more cultural penetration than Iron Man does.
    And I’ve seen projections that it was actually UP 12% on Saturday.

  33. Filmsnob says:

    I liked Iron Man didn’t love it, found it lacking in some way. Made of Honor is doing just find and so is Dempsey’s career. Dark Knight will do 300+

  34. brack says:

    IO, btw, Iron Man opened at $100m according to, with a total of $104m.

  35. Blackcloud says:

    Filmsnob, obviously you’re lying. You didn’t really like the movie, since you didn’t think it was the greatest movie in all of history. In reality, you think it sucks. IO says so.

  36. Rothchild says:

    Here come the excuses from Poland.

  37. MASON says:

    And so it goes again. I love ya Dave, but you should really get out of the prediction business.

  38. Joe Leydon says:

    Frankly, I still can’t understand why some folks — including David – thought Iron Man had only limited or niche or “geek” appeal. I’ve heard people of all ages talking about this movie for weeks. Hell, I know of at least two women over 45 — civilians, not in the biz, who never read the comic books — who rushed out to see it in separate cities this weekend, and loved it.

  39. Rothchild says:

    Everyone has, Joe. I’ve been hearing crazy praise all weekend from grown ass people that aren’t into comic book movies.
    But when you think Terence Howard is just playing “the black best friend” you’re not thinking things through.

  40. ManWithNoName says:

    How big a bomb do you think Speed Racer ends up being? It seems too kid-friendly to have the same kind of business.
    Congrats to Iron Man, from the director of “Zathura”!

  41. Tofu says:

    Joe, anecdotal word of mouth is a terrible way to gauge box office. Fact of the matter is, Iron Man exceeded expectations to the cue of $25 million or more.

  42. Rothchild says:

    Speed Racer is an amazing movie but who knows how many families are going to turn up?

  43. doug r says:

    Looks like underestimated-I thought Batman Begins numbers-$205 million, adjust for inflation. More like X-men the Last Stand-$235, adjusted to $250-260 million.

  44. movieman says:

    Gawd, how I loved “Speed Racer!”
    It combines the breathlessly kinetic action of the “Bourne” movies, the nonironic family values mandate of Disney’s best flicks and the gravity (and elasticity) defying, wigged-out anarchy of classic Looney Tunes.
    …and this is coming from someone who didn’t think the “Matrix Trilogy” was all that. I’m still experiencing a contact high from yesterday morning’s promotional screening and can’t wait to see it again.
    If I was still 10 years old I’d probably call “SR” the greatest movie ever made. Since I’m not a hyperbole-prone tyke any more, I’ll just say call it the greatest acid trip that $120-million can buy.
    Whatever happens at the box-office–and frankly I’m more than a little concerned–it’s destined to become a beloved cult film for the ages.
    One last hurrah: the pet monkey gives the single most astounding simian performance I’ve ever seen. And trust me, I’ve been a fan of “monkeys-in-clothes” longer than I care to admit.

  45. doug r says:

    Packed house 8pm Thursday show in suburbs=good sign.

  46. Tofu says:

    Reviewers are loving Speed Racer. Time for Warner Bros. to kill the embargo already, but it seems to be too late.
    Can’t wait to see the IMAX showing all the same.

  47. Joe Leydon says:

    “Joe, anecdotal word of mouth is a terrible way to gauge box office. Fact of the matter is, Iron Man exceeded expectations to the cue of $25 million or more.”
    Tofu, seriously: I don’t quite understand what you’re saying here. If Iron Man,/i> exceeded the expectations of industry insiders and observers to that degree, then wouldn’t paying more attention to what civilians are talking about be a good idea?

  48. Rothchild says:

    Doug R,
    Did you look at the opening weekend of X3 and how much the film dropped off each day?

  49. Sevenmack says:

    A movie with a $14 million first week gross is definitely solid for Dempsey, who only made one top-grossing film (“Can’t Buy Me Love,” which made $31 million and was in the top ten during its run) in his entire career. Hell, it’s pretty good considering for a lot actors these days. It would be nice if Dempsey, who has actually done some good stage acting early in his career in some good productions, and did a nice turn as Meyer Lansky in another film, would actually pick a decent script.

  50. movieman says:

    Not a Dempsey fan (to put it mildly), but he did the best acting of his career as Sela Ward’s autistic brother on “Once and Again.”
    Maybe there’s a “Rainman” remake in his post-McDreamy future.
    Hated “Made of Honor,” though, and I hope that the Ashton-Cameron rom-com rips it to shreds next weekend.

  51. christian says:

    I’m very amped for SPEED RACER as the Wachowski’s totally understand the anime, the action and the meaning.

  52. IOIOIOI says:

    Jeff: you seem like the type of person that would be walking by Woz’ Coopertino garage in the 70s and say; “Personal computing? That’s not going to work!” It’s the entire point of having MARVEL STUDIOS under one roof Jeff to make an AVENGERS FILM HAPPEN! IT’S ONE OF THE REASONS… not the main one… but one of them!
    Also, Cloudy, your review read a completely dicky way. Do not get dicky at me for you being dicky. Dicky Betts Jr.

  53. jeffmcm says:

    It’s spelled “Cupertino”. And maybe they will make the movie, but even if they do I can’t imagine how I would enjoy it. And I have nothing against the Avengers series, but it doesn’t sound like a good idea for a movie.

  54. IOIOIOI says:

    IT DOESN’T SOUND LIKE A GOOD IDEA FOR A MOVIE? ARE YE MAD? SIX DIFFERENT HEROES joining together to take on something bigger than they can face alone. Seriously… if that does not get you all sorts of excited. I say… GOOD DAY. What? You still here? GOOD DAY.

  55. Joe Leydon says:

    OK, I know this fals into the area of TOO MUCH INFORMATION, but… I have heard from a friend of a friend that a mutual aquaintance said… well, let’s just say that, the morning after seeing Iron Man, a couple decided to start the day off with some lovemaking. And at the precise moment when Tab A was inserted into Slot B, the male of the species growled: “I am Iron Man!”
    I wonder how many other times that particular scenario played itself out this weekend?

  56. christian says:

    Not enough. Maybe next weekend.

  57. jeffmcm says:

    IOI: That’s right. The movie you describe sounds like watching somebody else play a videogame. And the older I get, the less and less excited I am about certain kinds of geekfests. I’m going to be happy to see a good Hulk movie or an Edgar Wright Ant-Man movie or a properly Norse-d up Thor movie, but mash them all together and, honestly, it sounds like a peanut butter and banana sandwich with ice cream on top served on top of a burrito. In other words, the kind of thing I might have eaten when I was younger at an amusement park, but which just sounds kind of hard to swallow these days.
    [end crankyoldman]

  58. Dempsey’s opening for Made of Honour is larger than many movies recently by so-called “movie stars” so I think he’ll be fine.

  59. Boonwell says:

    Dempsey was in ENCHANTED which opened just over five months ago.
    Not speaking as a huge Dempsey fan or anything, but let’s be clear about the “not having a theatrical release in 15/20 years” comments.

  60. jeffmcm says:

    Not _headlining_ a theatrical release. He was in Enchanted, but it was sold first and foremost as a Disney comedy with a gimmick. Made of Honor was sold with a lot of emphasis on his starpower.

  61. Chucky in Jersey says:

    The ads and trailers for “Made of Honor” emphasize the oddball story. It isn’t all that far-fetched as one of the British quality papers puts it.
    BTW, jeffmcm, I’m not some McCarthyite or loony leftist. I saw the trailer for “Iron Man” in front of “21” so I know what the underlying message was.

  62. jeffmcm says:

    Saying “I saw the trailer” proves my point, not yours.

  63. Blackcloud says:

    I’ve seen the Indy 4 trailer, so I feel comfortable denouncing it for reviving the most noxious forms of anti-communist red-baiting. This sort of McCarthyism is totally unacceptable. Obviousy, the big Hollywood corporate conglomerates are in the tank for pro-war Washington politicians. It’s all part of the secret pro-Hillary/anti-Obama conspiracy. Just play the trailer backward and it’s right there for you to see.

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon