Nikki Finke today is throwing cold water on crazy predictions that Iron Man could make as much as $100 million in its opening weekend when it hits theaters on May 2; instead, she thinks it'll pull in a more reasonable (though still sort of insane) $50–$60 million. Meanwhile, Variety is reporting, based on 6 million orders from retailers, that highly anticipated video game Grand Theft Auto IV (due on April 29) is likely to make $400 million — and possibly more! — in its first week of release, which would give it the biggest moneymaking debut of ANY ENTERTAINMENT PRODUCT EVER! What many now assume is that Iron Man's success will depend, in some part, on how many video-game fans it can lure from their homes on the weekend of May 2.
Like many, we had been planning to pick up a copy of GTA IV after work on April 29, then fake our own death and lock ourselves in our apartment until we'd completed it, we hope around the time of Iron Man's release on DVD. But now, thanks to the exhaustive efforts of Paramount's marketing department, along with near-ecstatic advance reviews and our renewed enthusiasm for Black Sabbath, we're pretty sure we'll be leaving our home to see the movie in a theater. We think Grand Theft Auto IV might actually help Iron Man since many culture aficionados will attempt to enjoy both, thus resulting in the GREATEST WEEKEND EVER. As such, we probably wouldn't be surprised if both GTA IV and IM beat expectations. We continue to be impressed with the entertainment industry's ability to weather a recession by delivering fantastically hyped, massively anticipated, cool-looking violence.