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Box Office Review: Marvel-ous!

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Heartless personality Jonathan Nail interrogates helpless patrons during opening weekend of Iron Man. | Video courtesy of Just Us Films

No one doubted that Iron Man would easily top the box office this weekend, but the scale of its success is virtually unprecedented. The latest entry from Marvel's deep stable of superheroes blasted early estimates of $60-70M by raking in a mammoth $104.3M since Thursday night's late showings. It was the second-largest, non-sequel debut in history, topped only by the first Spider-Man. The auspicious start (an additional $96.7M from overseas) guarantees that we will be seeing new Iron Man adventures well into the next decade.

Coming in a distant second--but still above expectations--was the silly and obvious Made of Honor ($15.5M). It's audience skewed older (62% over 25) and female (68%) as Sony shrewdly marketed it as the Iron Man alternative. Hold-overs filled out the rest of the top 10: Baby Mama ($10.3M/$32.3M), Forgetting Sarah Marshall ($6.1M/$44.8M), Harold & Kumar ($6M/$25.2M), The Forbidden Kingdom ($4.2M/$45.1M), Nim's Island ($2.7M/$42.5M), Prom Night ($2.5M/$41.4M), 21 ($2.1M/$79M) and 88 Minutes ($1.6M/$15.4M).

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Marilyn Monroe and Michael Jackson impersonators. Wow. Inspired. Fresh. | Photo courtesy of IFC Films

The limited release slate enjoyed its best weekend in awhile. Fugitive Pieces made the most money ($108,000), but had the lowest per-theater average ($3600). David Mamet's Redbelt had a strong start ($11,433 per) as did the very funny and heartwarming Son of Rambow ($10,500). In only 1 New York theater, Harmony Korine's oddball Mister Lonely scored an impressive $19,100, further validating the fact that even the art house crowd has its share of dumbasses and New Yorkers do not necessarily have better taste than Angelenos.