Marvel’s Iron Man 3 doesn’t open here in the states until midnight tonight, but it’s already breaking records and beating last year’s massively successful Avengers’ international box-office take in its first week of release.
The third installment in the hugely popular franchise opened in more than 40 countries last weekend and was the most popular movie in each and every one of them, earning a whopping $195.3 million in its first five days. To put that in perspective, that amount represents a staggering 79 percent of the entire box office take beyond the United States for that period. Iron Man 3 has earned more money internationally in five days than Captain America: The First Avenger made in its entire theater release overseas.
Nine days into its international release, Tony Stark’s latest adventure has grossed an estimated $307.7 million around the world, which is $100 million or so more than it cost to make the movie and more than the total take for the entire international theater runs of both the first Iron Man movie and 2011′s Thor.
In China, now regarded as one of the most important international markets for movies, Iron Man 3 brought in some $21.5 million, the highest amount for any movie opening in the country.
This undoubtedly comes as welcome news to Marvel, which drew fire last month when it was announced that the Chinese release of the movie features additional scenes not available in other countries. Director Shane Black told journalists at a recent press conference he “was basically doing the American version while we were simultaneously obtaining footage for the Chinese version. I got a sense of what was going on and I was asked to look at it and had a chance later to approve the footage. Now we’ve got these two versions and I’m thrilled that we have the opportunity to work with one of the single fastest emerging box office markets in the world, which is China.”
Iron Man 3 also has broken records for the biggest opening weekend ever in Argentina, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Vietnam, Taiwan, the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia — and was, the the way, the biggest opening day ever in those last five countries. It’s also ahead of the opening weekends for Marvel’s The Avengers in Australia, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Romania and Sweden.
The United States and Russia are among the markets in which the movie hasn’t opened yet. It opens everywhere else on the planet this weekend except in Poland, where fans must for some reason wait until May 9. Here in the states, early estimates of an opening weekend take somewhere north of $125 million have climbed to as much as $180 million. The final number may be higher still, as advance tracking earlier this month predicted the movie would open higher than Avengers, which set the North American opening weekend record at $207 million.