Iron Man Rocks the Box Office - Take That GTA IV!
by Alex Billington
May 4, 2008
I can't pass up this opportunity to say "I told you so" to everyone who thought Grand Theft Auto IV was going to hurt the performance of Iron Man this weekend. Ah, what a great feeling it is to be right! If you remember, a few weeks ago I posted an article titled Iron Man vs GTA IV: The Ultimate Summer Showdown? discussing the buzz that had recently hit regarding the potential damage that GTA IV could have on Iron Man's box office earnings. I made the claim that it would not have an impact, barely at all, but plenty of others disagreed - including Movie Marketing Madness' Chris Thilk, who boldly said in the comments, "I think GTA is going to have a significant impact on Iron Man's box office." Now the reports are out, and guess what, Iron Man made over $100 million! Take that GTA IV!
The official reports are saying that Iron Man will end up with a weekend total of $104.2 million domestic. Combine that with $96.8 million internationally and the total take for the film is around $201 million - now that is impressive! If you're not convinced, check out these headlines - Variety: Iron Man a Box Office Marvel and Entertainment Weekly: Iron Man Forges Historic Box Office Win. Wow, historic?! What is not historic is GTA IV being so big that Iron Man flopped. Whoever started this idea that GTA IV would hurt its box office should be commended, or given a raise or promotion, because they probably helped Iron Man succeed! It gained even more traction when everyone started writing about how it wasn't going to do well. All publicity is good publicity!
What is currently missing are the numbers for GTA IV. The original prediction over at Next Generation claimed that GTA IV could sell upwards of 5.8 million copies in the first week, which would be a bigger opening than Halo 3 last year. However, I still haven't seen or heard the launch numbers for GTA IV - which must mean that it didn't hit as big as everyone was predicting. I know when I went to pick up my copy at midnight there definitely wasn't even half as much hype as there was for Halo 3. Besides this news from GameStop, I haven't heard anything else. As far as I can tell, this entire thing was flip flopped - Iron Man was the one that had the phenomenal release and GTA IV only performed rather normally.
I guess what I'm saying people should take away from this is to never jump on the bandwagon when industry analysts make predictions. In this day and age, numbers on paper aren't real ways of measuring potential success - and that's now confirmed. That is why you never see me throwing around any numbers or any predictions based on tracking or surveys because I always feel they're quite inaccurate. All of my predictions I make purely based off of the hype and buzz that I can feel when I go to the movie theater and when I talk with friends and colleagues. This time I was right - Iron Man did amazingly well despite GTA IV's launch. And I think those of you who predicted otherwise should think more broadly when it comes to entertainment - numbers on paper aren't real ways of measuring potential.
Photo courtesy of DJ Damien on Flickr.