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As was expected, the hotly anticipated superhero sequel Iron Man 2 led the box office with the fifth highest opening weekend of all time, grossing three times more than the rest of the top ten combined.
Iron Man 2 flew off to $128.1 million, including Thursday night showings, for a red-hot per theatre average of $29,252. This opening weekend tally is significantly less than the $133 million that was originally predicted, signalling that fans may have rushed out all at once for the premier. Many predicted that the $158 million opening weekend record held by another superhero movie, The Dark Knight, may be broken but it appears the buzz, incredible reviews and the tragic death of Heath Ledger still remain an unbeatable combination for the Batman pic.
The follow-up to Iron Man launched in a record 4,366 theatres including IMAX showings and including international totals has amassed $322 million. A third Iron Man is already planned.
Elsewhere, in the doldrums of the box office, was last week's champ A Nightmare on Elm Street which saw an expectedly large drop, as is the case with most horror films, of 72 percent. That was still good enough for a second place finish of $9.1 million bringing its two-week total to $48.4 million. While sizable, this is far less than the Friday the 13th reboot which saw a whopping 80 percent of its business disappear in its second weekend finishing with $65 million. “Nightmare” will unlikely gross much more than twice it’s opening weekend take and should also finish its run with around $65 million.
Rounding out the top five was the hit animated film How to Train Your Dragon which was rewarded with another small decline (although its biggest yet) of 37 percent which propelled it past the $200 million mark. Date Night, The Back-Up Plan and Furry Vengeance also saw small dips of 28, 31 and 32 percent respectively.
The only new release other than Iron Man 2 was the French doc Babies which had a solid opening of $2.1 million giving it a ninth place finish.
Overall the box office was up 22 percent from the same time last year when the reboot Star Trek opened at number one with $75.2 million.