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'Iron Man 2' lands a bit below estimate, 'Babies' has record Sunday thanks to Mother's Day [updated]

May 10, 2010 | 12:39 pm

Turns out that "Iron Man 2" was a bit less popular with moms than expected, while "Babies" was a whole lot more.

Though executives at Paramount Pictures are still calculating the precise figure, a person familiar with the situation at the studio said that the actual weekend gross for "Iron Man 2" will come in between $129 million and $130 million. That's just a bit below the estimated $133.6 million that the studio released Sunday morning.

[Update, 1:21 p.m.: The final weekend gross for "Iron Man 2" was $128.1 million, according to Hollywood.com Box Office.]

The superhero sequel did $1 million better than expected overseas, however, grossing $58.4 million, instead of the estimated $57.2 million. So far, the movie has taken in $194.2 million in foreign markets.

Studios release estimated weekend grosses on Sunday mornings based on models used to predict that day's ticket sales. Because this Sunday was Mother's Day, however, executives said that day's grosses were BabiesAmore difficult than usual to forecast.

That turned out to be good news for Focus Features, the specialty film label of Universal Pictures. Its documentary "Babies" had a much-bigger-than-expected Sunday, grossing $1.08 million, double the studio's predicted $505,000. That pushed up the movie's total weekend take from the expected $1.57 million to an actual $2.15 million.

Focus executives had predicted a relatively strong Mother's Day given the connection of the film's subject matter to the holiday. What they ended up with, however, is an all-time record. The Sunday gross of "Babies" represented 50% of its total take for the three-day weekend. The previous record, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com, was 46% for "Fun With Dick and Jane" in 2005, when Christmas fell on a Sunday.

-- Ben Fritz

Photo: A scene from "Babies." Credit: Focus Features

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