By Lisa Richwine and Andrea Burzynski
April 28 Mark Wahlberg's dark comedy "Pain &
Gain" brought enough box office muscle to knock Tom Cruise out
of the No. 1 spot on movie charts in the United States and
Another box office heavyweight, Robert Downey Jr., scored
big overseas with the international debut of Marvel superhero
sequel "Iron Man 3."
"Pain & Gain" took in $20 million at U.S. and Canadian
theaters over its first three days, according to studio
estimates released on Sunday. Cruise's sci-fi thriller,
"Oblivion," slipped to second place with $17.4 million.
"Iron Man 3" hauled in $195.3 million in 42 international
markets, distributor Walt Disney Co said, a total that
surpassed the international opening of "The Avengers." The movie
arrives in the United States and Canada on Friday to kick off
Hollywood's lucrative summer blockbuster season.
Receipts for "Pain & Gain" beat pre-weekend forecasts for a
debut of at least $15 million. The film is based on the
real-life story of Miami bodybuilders who kidnap a wealthy deli
owner and plan to steal his fortune. When their plot goes awry,
the criminals scramble to escape being caught.
"We were estimating high teens, so anything with a two in
front is good," said Don Harris, president of domestic
theatrical distribution at Paramount Pictures, the Viacom Inc
unit that released the movie.
Paramount Pictures produced "Pain & Gain" for $26 million.
Dwayne Johnson stars alongside Wahlberg in the film, which is
directed by Michael Bay of the blockbuster "Transformers"
"Oblivion," a post-apocalyptic drama about the last humans
on Earth, brought its two-week total in North America (the
United States and Canada) to $64.7 million. Comcast Corp's
Universal Pictures estimated international sales
through Sunday at $134.1 million, bringing the film's worldwide
total to $198.8 million.
Baseball drama "42," about Jackie Robinson's debut as Major
League Baseball's first black player, finished in third place
with $10.7 million domestically.
In fourth place, new romantic comedy "The Big Wedding"
earned $7.5 million. Despite a big-name cast including Robert
DeNiro, Susan Sarandon and Katherine Heigl, the movie was
ravaged by critics. Only 6 percent of reviews on the Rotten
Tomatoes website recommended the film.
Lions Gate Entertainment Corp distributed "The Big
Wedding," and Millennium Films covered most of the $35 million
In the No. 5 slot, animated Stone Age comedy "The Croods"
grossed $6.6 million.
North American ticket sales for all movies this year reached
nearly $2.9 billion, running 11.8 percent behind sales at the
same point in 2012, according to the box office division of
The release of "Iron Man 3" next weekend is expected to
jump-start domestic sales. Boxoffice.com is projecting $151
million in North American receipts over the film's first three
days, which would rank as the biggest opening so far this year.
Disney's executive vice president for motion picture
distribution Dave Hollis declined to make a prediction for the
film's U.S. opening, but was optimistic based on the overseas
"To say that we are encouraged by these results is an
understatement," Hollis said.
"Oblivion" was distributed by Universal Pictures, a unit of
Comcast Corp. Time Warner Inc's Warner Bros
studio released "42," while "The Croods" was produced by
Dreamworks Animation and distributed by 20th Century
Fox, a unit of News Corp.