Marvel's Iron Man 3 Earns $175M On Opening Weekend; Second Biggest Debut of All Time

By Binu Paul , Updated May 06, 2013 12:11 PM EDT

Iron Man 3, the latest superhero release from Walt Disney's Marvel Studios, was more like Avengers 2, earning $175.3 million in its first three days in North America, the second best opening weekend of all time behind The Avengers. The Avengers, which was also produced by Marvel, opened with $207.4 million last May.

The latest Tony Stark instalment managed to amass a new global total of $680.1 million, which is higher than the total for Iron Man 2. However, analysts estimate that the film may not surpass the $1.5 billion that The Avengers totalled worldwide, although it is sure to gross more than $1 billion.

The third instalment of Iron Man series featuring Robert Downey Jr. as the wise-cracking billionaire Tony Stark, is reporting a good run in China with a total of $63.5 million at the box office since opening there on Wednesday.  The movie, released in some international markets ahead of the U.S., is also doing remarkably well in many other markets including Brazil, UK, and South Korea where the film was already outperforming The Avengers.

Iron Man 3's remarkable run should be attributed to the massive success of Avengers. As The Wall Street Journal notes, the story of Iron Man 3 picks up where Avengers left off and contains multiple references to last year's movie.  "In an online survey by movie-ticketing website Fandango, 88 percent of people said Avengers influenced their decision to see Iron Man 3, compared with 68 percent who said they were influenced by Iron Man 2," the report states.

"The continuity of the story lines helps these films deliver momentum to each other," Dave Hollis, Disney's executive vice president in charge of world-wide distribution, said to WSJ. Disney hopes this factor will help its upcoming Marvel movies such as November's Thor: The Dark World and next April's Captain America: The Winter Soldier, both of which are sequels.

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