Movie Monday: Iron Man 3


 It’s too bad that Tony Stark’s Malibu mansion was blown to smithereens. It was a pretty place. But here’s a bit of good news: With the moolah Iron Man 3 collected this weekend, methinks Tony will be able to build a shiny new crib. In fact, he could probably build a spare—you know, just in case of another helicopter attack.

Iron Man 3 earned a truly (ahem) marvelous $175.3 million domestically this weekend (estimated, of course), winning the box office crown and forcing movie-biz statisticians to work overtime. It was the second-highest opening ever, trailing only fellow Marvel stablemate The Avengers (which opened last year to $207.4 million). So successful was its debut weekend that the Robert Downey Jr. flick is already the second-highest grossing of the year—trailing Oz the Great and Powerful by less than $50 million. Methinks that, this time next week, Iron Man will likely be first.

And as impressive as the titanium trickster has been domestically, it’s arguably doing better overseas. Add in grosses from foreign markets, and Iron Man 3 has already cleared $680.1 million. Take that ARC Reactor to the bank, Jarvis.

Another bit of statistical trivial: Iron Man 3 earned 23 times that of Pain and Gain, its nearest competitor. It’s hardly a surprise that Pain was dumped from its top slot: Mark Wahlberg et al could pump all the iron they wanted and still not match the iron-clad superhero. But the 62% drop the flick saw in its week-over-week gross was still a little startling. Last week’s champ earned just $7.6 million this weekend en route to its second place finish.

The biopic 42 slid into third for the second straight week, collecting $6.2 million along the base path. Oblivion snagged a fourth-place finish and $5.8 million. And The Croods held onto a top five slot for the seventh straight week, grinding its way to $4.2 million.

Expect a steep slide from Iron Man come next week—but even if it experiences a Pain and Gain-level attrition rate, that’d still leave it with about an $80 million weekend, putting it in position to potentially claim a second straight box office crown. Or could The Great Gatsby—another ludicrously wealthy, well-meaning anti-hero—roar past Tony Stark and Co. in his cream-colored Rolls Royce? We’ll know next week.

Final figures update: 1. Iron Man 3: $174.1 million; 2. Pain and Gain, $7.5 million; 3. 42, $6.1 million; 4. Oblivion, $5.6 million; 5. The Croods, $4.2 million.

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Kal El More than 1 year ago

I love reading/hearing other Christians talking about super heroes. Makes me feel so at home. :-)

I saw "Iron Man 3" Friday night and left the theater feeling kind of confused as to what I thought of it. Part of me felt cheated by a couple key plot twists, the other part that it had some excellent action, humor, and comic material references. Ultimately I feel like I need to watch it again, because I have a feeling that the second viewing will be much more thoroughly enjoyable, since I will know a little better what to expect from it. Currently I would say, yes I really did like it, but it just wasn't "perfect" and I don't think it is as good as the first (or maybe the second, but I am not sure about that one at this point). Still, Marvel can count on my dollars when the Blu-ray hits. :-) BRING ON "THOR: THE DARK WORLD"!!!

Yeah, I also plan to see "The Great Gatsby" and "Star Trek Into Darkness", preferably sooner than later. Then of course "Fast & Furious 6" hits, I think the very next week after Star Trek, and then of course "Man Of Steel" in June (Supes is still my all-time favorite super hero ever and I think MOS looks amazing). :-D I guess I will be at the theaters a lot!

Chandler Johnston More than 1 year ago

Syd i'm not comparing it to batman by way of charector development but by its plot, I was hoping for a deep complex plot which at the biginning it had, but then toward the end they threw away a perfectly good story, but your right dc charectors tend to be darker, but iron man is the darkest of the marvel heroes, and the trailers made it look like they were going to have a deep thinking plot with a horrendous villin, and iron man 3 did not.

I agree 100 percent with yet another teen.

Rebecca Greer More than 1 year ago

I saw Iron Man 3 last Thursday and really enjoyed it. Now I can't decide if I liked the first or third films better (I did enjoy Iron Man 2, but it is the weakest of the trilogy.) I do have to disagree with the conclusion of the PI review for IM3 however--I thought the film had quite a lot of depth; it is certainly the most serious of the three, even though the comedic elements balance it out nicely. The film presents plenty of themes and questions that are likely to raise discussion, or at least get the audience thinking--how we all create "suits" to distract us and shelter us from the things that scare us, how we are all capable of creating demons with the power to destroy us, how important it is to treat others with kindness and respect, how PTSD affects so many. Tony is among the most complex of superheroes, but I think his flaws make him more real and relatable.

I really hope The Great Gatsby does well; I'm hoping I'll be able to see it this weekend. I've been excited about it ever since I saw the first trailer last May.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

I was hoping for a little more story in a good way though. Instead, well... They started character development, but then killed a lot of it towards the end. Nice action, decent characters, intense violence (I already warned my Mom about it; she tends to forget that much younger siblings don't need to be watching Lord of the Rings or the Batman movies), and a plot that had a lot more promise than delivery. I loved the last scene, but that was mostly because I kept tying it into my business major. College is affecting my mind most terribly...

syd collings More than 1 year ago


I don't understand the comparison to Batman. They are two widely different characters..batman's brooding, dark archetype does not work with iron man. tony Stark is the exact opposite. frankly i think the difference is more attributable to Marvel/DC character development. DC characters tend to be darker and more serious, Marvel characters are lighter.

Chandler Johnston More than 1 year ago

I saw Iron man 3, I thought it was pretty lame. It had the potential to reach batman level awesome depth of story, but it seams for iron man 3 the writers wrote half of a great story, and then got lazy and rolled dice to see how the movie was going to end, and the dice role was absolutely not in their favor.

Lauren Petiti More than 1 year ago

A book won't be nearly as good as the movie if we expect it to be just like the book. Trust me, you really don't want to see a straight adaptation of a great author's work. Imagine what it'd be like to see a straight adaption of Hemingway or Hugo. Authors write prose, screenwriters don't.

Ben Milbrath More than 1 year ago


Yep, I'm also excited for the Great Gatsby.  Afraid it won't be nearly as good as the book though.  

Jonathan Henry More than 1 year ago

I agree, Iron Man 3 was great and almost as good as the original (2 was a disappointment), and it was nice to finally be excited to see a movie.

I'm hoping they don't go too overboard with flash in Gatsby considering the point of the story. But I'm eager to see it either way.

syd collings More than 1 year ago

I saw Iron Man 3 on friday and it was way better than Iron Man 2, but i think the first one is still the best of the series. I hope Great Gatsby does well next week, but it'll probably won't come anywhere near IM3. The real test will come when Star Trek Into Darkness opens on May 17.

@ TechnicallyInsane

The language didn't really stand out to me, except for when Tony was talking with the little boy. But, i thought the violence was more intense than usual.

Ben Milbrath More than 1 year ago

I saw Iron Man 3 yesterday and thought it was better than the first two.  It played out like an action comedy, which is perfectly fitting to RDJ's style.  Nothing like the more serious Nolan Batman series, but fun in it's own way.  

Note:  Upon reading the review of Iron Man 3, I had thought the movie would be filled with language, as the Crude or Profane Language section indicated that there would be 30+ uses of  bad language.  After watching the movie I noticed only 10-15 uses of bad language, a far cry from that which was recorded in the review.  Do you guys pull those numbers out of a hat?  Usually my family and I try not to watch movies in the theaters that have over 30+ uses of bad language, but I read another review that said IM3 had only a couple uses of bad language.  I'm glad our family went based on that review.