Iron Man 3,” the Marvel Studios superhero creation distributed by Walt Disney Co., showed the potential to be a blockbuster over the weekend by debuting in 42 international territories and taking in a record $195.3 million (N32 billion), according to box-office tracker Hollywood.com.
That beat last year’s international debut of “Marvel’s The Avengers,” also a Disney product, which made $185.1 million in its international debut.
“Avengers” went on to become the third-highest-grossing film of all time both domestically and world-wide, taking in $623.4 million in the U.S. and a total $1.51 billion globally.
“Iron Man 3” set a record for the biggest opening weekend in Latin America and Asia Pacific as well.
“This bodes incredibly well for the potential for ‘Iron Man 3’ in North America,” said Paul Dergarabedian, president of Hollywood.com’s box-office division, who added the large international debut was unexpected.
“This sort of raises the bar and kicks up the expectations,” he said.
Robert Downey Jr. plays the title character in “Iron Man 3” and played the same role as one of a team of superheroes in “Avengers.” “Iron Man 3” is hitting U.S. theaters May 3, the same weekend as “Avengers” in what is considered the kickoff to Hollywood’s lucrative summer season. Dergarabedian says last year Disney experimented in building up interest internationally with “Avengers” before unleashing it in the U.S., and it paid off.
But don’t hold your breath for it to beat any future records set by “Avengers,” Dergarabedian says. “Avengers” holds the record for opening three-day weekends with $207.4 million, nearly $40 million ahead of any other film.
“That’s a rather high bar to set,” Dergarabedian said.
The two previous films in the “Iron Man” series racked up a total of $1.2 billion in world-wide box office. Released in 2008, “Iron Man” made $585 million while 2010’s “Iron Man 2” made $624 million.