I’m not big on reporting box office numbers here at Screen Rant, but I found this comparison pretty interesting: Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Crystal Skull barely beat Iron Man opening weekend for opening weekend.
I really thought that Indy would smoke the armored one as far as opening weekend box office – Indiana Jones has huge name recognition, anticipation over being a return to the series after 19 years, big name star Harrison Ford, current flavor of the month Shia Lebouf and an outstanding legacy behind it.
On the other hand Iron Man was a relatively unknown Marvel Comics character being played by Robert Downey Jr, not exactly known as a big box office draw.
So how do they compare?
In it’s opening weekend (Friday through Sunday) Iron Man brought in $98.6MM. The current estimate for Indy 4 for its opening Friday – Sunday numbers is… $101 million.
Now the problem here is that it’s really hard to do a fair comparison because Indiana Jones opened on midnight Wednesday and many hard core fans of the series saw it between then and Friday morning. On its opening Thursday Indy did $25 million.
Another interesting number is that the average gross per theater over the opening weekend was very close for both these movies, with Iron Man averaging about $8,000 and Indy, $7900. That to me is again, surprising. I thought a lot more people would pack the theaters for Indiana Jones than would have Iron Man on its opening weekend. Ah – but are the per audience numbers really that close? According to Fantasy Moguls, while Indy opened at only 155 more theaters than Iron Man, it was shown on TWICE as many screens: 9,500!
Although I know that Indy will go on to make huge dollars (it’s already earned an estimated $297MM worldwide) I really thought it would open much stronger here in the states, and would just completely blow away Iron Man’s numbers. BTW, our armored avenger has so far earned close to $486 million worldwide so far!).
Finally, Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Crystal Skull, while earning a ton of opening weekend money, did not manage to break any existing box office records.