`Iron Man 2' Is Top Weekend Movie Again With $53 Million

“Iron Man 2” was the top-grossing movie in U.S. and Canadian theaters for a second weekend with ticket sales of $53 million for Walt Disney Co. and distributor Paramount Pictures.

“Robin Hood” opened in second place with $37.1 million for General Electric Co.’s Universal Pictures, Hollywood.com Box-Office said yesterday in an e-mailed statement.

“Iron Man 2,” a sequel based on the Marvel superhero comics, has taken in $212.2 million in the U.S. in two weeks. It opened a summer slate that includes “Shrek Forever After,” “Toy Story 3” and a new “Twilight” film. This season’s box office may surpass last year’s $4.25 billion, aided by higher prices for 3-D tickets, estimates Hollywood.com Box-Office.

“‘Iron Man’ is performing about par for the course,” and its sales will be “typical” for a Hollywood sequel, said Chad Hartigan, a box-office analyst at Los Angeles-based Exhibitor Relations Co. “But while we can say it’s not impressive, it’s still going to make a bundle for Paramount and Marvel.”

The original “Iron Man” generated $585 million in worldwide ticket sales, according to researcher Box Office Mojo. Robert Downey Jr. returns in the sequel as Tony Stark, an industrialist who dons an armored, jet-powered suit to fight villains. Mickey Rourke and Scarlett Johansson co-star.

Hartigan said “Iron Man 2” should bring in about $350 million.

‘Letters to Juliet’

Second place’s “Robin Hood” stars Russell Crowe as the legendary 13th century English archer. The film, directed by Ridley Scott, traces the Robin Hood early days following his return from the Crusades.

“Letters to Juliet,” from Summit Entertainment LLC, opened in third place with $13.8 million. The drama stars Amanda Seyfried as an American girl on vacation in Italy who embarks on a quest to reunite a pair of long-lost lovers.

“Just Wright” opened in fourth place with $8.5 million for News Corp.’s Fox Searchlight. The romantic comedy, featuring Queen Latifah and the rapper Common, tells the story of a physical therapist who falls in love with the basketball player she is helping to recover from an injury.

The fifth spot went to “How to Train Your Dragon” from DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. with $5.1 million. The film has had sales of $207.8 million in its eight weeks of release.

‘Shrek Forever After’

This coming weekend, “Shrek Forever After” from DreamWorks Animation and the “Saturday Night Live”-inspired “MacGruber” will open.

Given the box office so far this year, Exhibitor Relations’s Hartigan said he is “skeptical” about breaking the $5 billion mark this summer.

“It would take ‘Shrek,’ ‘Toy Story’ and ‘Twilight’ all being $300 million-plus movies or maybe one of them pushing over $400 million,” he said.

Sales for the top 12 films rose 2.7 percent to $134.4 million from $130.8 million a year earlier, Hollywood.com said. Year-to-date receipts total $3.85 billion, up 6.3 percent from $3.62 billion. Attendance has fallen 0.29 percent this year.

The following table has figures provided by studios to Los Angeles-based Hollywood.com. The amounts are based on actual ticket sales for May 14 and May 15 and estimates for yesterday.

                       Rev.            Avg./   Pct.   Total
Movie                 (mln)  Theaters  Theater Chg.   (mln)  Wks
================================================================
1 IRON MAN 2           $53.0   4,390  $12,073   -59  $212.2   2
2 ROBIN HOOD            37.1   3,503   10,595   --     37.1   1
3 LETTERS TO JULIET     13.8   2,968    4,633   --     13.8   1
4 JUST WRIGHT            8.5   1,831    4,642   --      8.5   1
5 HOW TO TRAIN DRAGON    5.1   2,620    1,954   -23   207.8   8
6 NIGHTMARE ELM STREET   4.7   3,075    1,528   -48    56.1   3
7 DATE NIGHT             4.0   2,481    1,612   -27    86.7   6
8 THE BACK-UP PLAN       2.5   2,497      987   -51    34.2   4
9 FURRY VENGEANCE        2.3   2,695      853   -49    15.1   3
10 CLASH OF THE TITANS   1.3   1,300      965   -50   160.2   7
11 DEATH AT A FUNERAL    1.2   1,062    1,083   -50    40.5   5
12 BABIES                1.0     543    1,849   -54     3.9   2


Top 12 Films Grosses
   This Week     Year Ago      Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
===================================
     $134.4        $130.8       2.7


Year-to-date Revenue

     2010          2009
      YTD           YTD        Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
===================================
    $3,852        $3,624        6.3


Year-to-date Attendance:  -0.29%

To contact the reporter on this story: James Callan in New York at jcallan2@bloomberg.net Pat Wechsler at pwechsler@bloomberg.net

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