Box Office

Short version:  Iron Man 3 made a lot of money this weekend.  A lot.  In fact, the only movie that's ever made more in its domestic opening was The Avengers.

Summer movie season doesn't really kick off Stateside until next week with Iron Man 3, but Marvel's follow-up to The Avengers started blockbuster season early damn near everywhere else in the world this weekend.

At home, Pain & Gain opened in first place with a pretty impressive haul for a dark comedy liberally sprinkled with really nasty violence.  The ensemble romantic comedy The Big Wedding, meanwhile, pretty much crashed on launch in fourth place.

Since it was the one and only new wide release, it comes as no surprise that Oblivion was very much the busiest movie in Stateside theaters this weekend.

We're but a stones throw from summer movie season next month, but we're getting a prelude of the many highly specific box office records that each blockbuster season brings.

The chronicle of Jackie Robinson's time on the Brooklyn Dodgers, 42, opened in first place and become the highest-opening baseball movie ever, while Scary Movie 5's debut suggested that the spoof franchise may finally be starting to run out of gas.

Hey everyone, here's a feel-good story for your Easter: According to studio estimates, this weekend's box office haul was up from the same weekend last year.  Of course, it looks like it's only up by less than 1% and we're still down 12% for the young year.  But still.  It's an Easter miracle.

Paramount's probably spreading the good news, as the sequel G.I Joe: Retaliation finished in first by a mile.

Of the other two new releases on this holiday frame, Tyler Perry's Temptation fared far better than The Host, which seems unlikely to spawn the hoped-for franchise.

Two new completely different new releases proved surprisingly successful in their nationwide debuts, with an animated prehistoric comedy and a White House-set actioner dominating the weekend at American multiplexes.

The Croods debuted in first place by a wide margin, with Olympus Has Fallen opening in second.  The low-key Admission, meanwhile, failed to make a big impression, and the incendiary Spring Breakers expanded nationwide.

There was never any doubt that Oz the Great and Powerful would reign supreme in its second frame at number one over this Saint Patrick's Day Weekend.

And the fantasy adventure did indeed oblige, leaving the real surprise for number two, as two new releases, The Call and The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, inverted expectations.

For months now, Disney's inescapable marketing effort has been declaring Oz the Great and Powerful the first movie event of 2013.

And now that's what Sam Raimi's big 3D fantasy adventure has become, opening to an estimated $80.2 million from 3,912 locations.

In its third weekend of release, the comedy Identity Thief bounced back to the number one position among domestic releases, holding off two new wide releases and the action franchise that knocked it from its perch last weekend.

A quartet of new wide releases vied for audience attention on this unusual weekend – flanked by holidays on either side thanks to Valentine's Day and Presidents Day – with each one representing a wildly different style. 

The two big winners were the action sequel A Good Day to Die Hard and the hit novel adaptation Safe Haven.

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