'Iron Man' Soars With Historic Box-Office Debut

Superhero flick marks 10th-highest weekend opening ever, behind 'Spider-Man.'

The Box-Office Top Five

#1 "Iron Man" ($101 million)

#2 "Made of Honor" ($15.5 million)

#3 "Baby Mama" ($10.3 million)

#4 "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" ($6.1 million)

#5 "Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay" ($6 million)

Invite over Jimmy and Pepper, put on some Black Sabbath and pop open those bottles of champagne, Mr. Stark — OK, hold off on the champagne, bad suggestion — you're not just the world's newest hero, you're a veritable box-office savior. "Iron Man" kicked off the summer with a bang, earning $101 million over the weekend for a historic first-place finish.

How historic? Sure, it's pocket change to Stark (although he might want to keep it just in case the Department of Defense comes calling on all those default contracts), but for those of us who aren't billionaire playboys, $101 million is pretty significant. It represents the 10th-highest opening weekend ever, and the second highest for a movie that isn't a sequel, falling only slightly behind only the original "Spider-Man." Fair is fair, but since you could take Peter in a real fight, don't let him rag on you the next time you're teamed up on behalf of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Based on these superlative numbers, online scuttlebutt reports that "Iron Man 2" is already eyeing a 2010 release date, but audiences won't have to wait that long to see Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) on the big screen. The modern Marvel can be seen next in "The Incredible Hulk." Now just bring on "The Avengers."

Practically defining "counter-programming," "Made of Honor," starring Patrick Dempsey, came in second place with a respectable $15.5 million haul. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride, Mr. Dempsey.

Rounding out the top five were "Baby Mama" with $10.3 million, "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" with $6.1 million, and "Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay" with $6 million. Their new totals stand at $32.3 million, $44.8 million and $25.3 million, respectively.

In limited release, both David Mamet's "Redbelt" and the cheeky comedy "Son of Rambow" performed well, each earning over $10,000 per screen in six and five theaters, respectively.

Upcoming Releases

Will audiences scream "Go, Speed Racer! Go!" or "No, Speed Racer! No!" when the Wachowski brothers' latest enters theaters? On one hand, it's a visually stunning spectacle that looks like live-action anime. On the other, nobody I know has ever seen the cartoon. Also opening is Ashton Kutcher's "What Happens in Vegas..."

Check out everything we've got on "Iron Man," "Made of Honor" and "Baby Mama."

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