'Speed Racer' going in reverse

Boxoffice take even smaller than estimated

"Speed Racer" got off to an even slower start than first thought.

The Warner Bros. film pulled in just $18.6 million over the weekend, according to final figures from Nielsen EDI released Monday. The studio initially had estimated that Friday-through-Sunday grosses would total $20.2 million.

As a result, "Speed Racer" actually finished in third place on the weekend, not second as it initially appeared. Final figures show the Paramount/Marvel pic "Iron Man" winning a second straight session with $51.2 million and Fox's "What Happens in Vegas" opening in second place with $20.2 million.

"Iron Man" and "Vegas" each outperformed initial estimates, while "Speed Racer" lagged its initial estimate by almost 13%. Fox distribution president Bruce Snyder noted there was broad speculation on Sunday that the Warners estimate would prove inflated.

"Only Warner Bros. had 'Speed Racer' in second position," Snyder said. "Everybody else had 'Speed Racer' in third position. Coincidence?"

Warners domestic distribution president Dan Fellman said the studio had hoped Mother's Day grosses would be stronger than they were.

"Obviously, we were disappointed in the weekend." Fellman said. "The history of Mother's Day is that it has always been a stronger performer for PG-rated movies, and we were hoping we could turn it around on Sunday. Unfortunately, it didn't happen."