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“Iron Man” Kicks off Summer 08 With $38 Million on Thursday/Friday

The summer movie season is officially off the ground, as Paramount’s Iron Man debuted to a very strong $38 million through its Thursday sneak peaks and Friday Box Office.  The breakdown went as follows: $5.2M on Thursday and $32.8M on Friday.

With the strong start, the film should have no problem reaching $90 million, and has a good possibility of surpassing $100 million through Sunday.  The studio is currently projecting a $95 million take.

As Steve Mason of Fantasy Moguls reports, the film could surge to $100 million based on three aspects: 1) Some of the larger multiplexes in the country added 1AM and 1:15AM screenings due to the high demand.  All of these ticket sales would be added to the Saturday gross, 2) Cinema Score exit surveys show that audiences are giving the film A+/A grades across the board, and 3) its PG-13 rating makes it family-friendly which means it should receive a significant matinee bounce today.

A very good start to the summer movie season, and especially for Paramount, who are expected to have a $1 billion summer.  Mason predicts Iron Man may be headed to a $300M domestic take, and Paramount still has Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull which could hit $400 million, followed by Kung Fu Panda in June which could reach $200M and possible $100M+ takes for Mike Myers’ Love Guru in July and Ben Stiller’s Tropic Thunder in August.

Source: Fantasy Moguls