Box Office: Big News, Big Yawn

May 6, 2008 | By Clint Froehlich | Creative

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John Shearer / WireImage/Getty Images

Hollywood is giggly this first week of the lovely month of May, as the box office is finally showing signs of life. Cue the renewed editorials on blockbuster longevity, excitable quotes from studio executives (especially those at Marvel Studios) about the ‘quality’ of ‘our product’, and of course the countless exercises in repetition as exclamations of shattered records reverberate from coast to coast.

Is it really a surprise that Iron Man opened to $100 million? No. Sure, it wasn’t tracking quite that big, and a month ago most were predicting $50-60 million. But the marketing was enormously loud, and the buzz was well above-average. For a movie based on a comic book targeting males under 30, that’s all it takes. Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow were bonuses for adults, the market has been near-dead, and it featured a dude in a metal suit flying around with jet fighters. I’ll admit this opening was somewhat notable in size – it surpassed last summer’s Transformers, a far superior popcorn flick – but this is nothing Hollywood should be getting its panties in a twist about. Of course, Marvel has already announced about ten upcoming comic movies. Groan.

Nothing else was going on at the box office, though Patrick Dempsey’s swoon-over-me vehicle Made of Honor performed surprisingly well with a $15 million opening. Next weekend? Speed Racer cruises into theatres, probably to paltry results…trailers that give you headaches usually don’t go over too well.

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