iron man speed racer Forget GTA IV: Will Speed Racer Hurt Iron Man?

Everyone is buzzing about how the release of Grand Theft Auto IV (do people who like that game even know how to interpret Roman numerals? Ok, ok… don’t get all mad) is going to hurt Iron Man box office in it’s second week of release. The word is that GTA 4 is set to bring in $400 million in it’s opening weekend, and that gamers will stay home to play that instead of leaving their darkened bedrooms to go see the awesome Iron Man movie (yes, I’ve seen it).

I don’t buy the logic.

The last time a movie doing poorly was blamed on the launch of a video game the same weekend was when Halo 3 was released on the same weekend as… um… some Ben Stiller movie.

Yeah, right. That’s like blaming cow farts for global warming. Oh, wait…

Anyway, I think that there’s something else that could put a bigger dent in Iron Man’s armor than Grand Theft Auto 4:

Speed Racer

I know a few guys who are heavy into video games, and do you know what they talk about when they’re not talking about games? Iron Man, that’s what.

Face it, Iron Man is a freaking cool movie, aimed squarely at the typical videogame demographic. Does that make for a conflict? Why should it? Are people not going to tear themselves away from a console for a couple of hours to see one of the three biggest hits of the year?

If they won’t, here are two words of advice: Seek help.

What I think may affect Iron Man‘s second week box office receipts is Speed Racer. I haven’t seen it yet and won’t catch an early screening because I want my first look at it to be in Glorious IMAX on opening night.

Why the conflict? Because parents are starved for cool movies they can take their kids to. Starved, I tell ya. And where they might opt to go catch Iron Man next week if they missed it on opening weekend (where I’m now thinking it will probably pull in $80MM ), they’ll now have two choices instead of one. And with Speed Racer being PG, for those with littler ones, and the ability to take them safely (no sex, cartoon violence) to see a movie by the folks who made the uber-cool Matrix – I’ll bet the decision will be a no brainer vs the sometimes intense PG-13 Iron Man.

And even the older kids in the say, 11-13 range may think that the Mach 5 and it’s surrounding LSD-like exploding colors is a better bet than a playboy billionare with a cool set of metal jams.