As will be the case at least a few times this summer, the big box office news will be not in America but in foreign markets as major summer movies open overseas prior to their domestic debuts. As is the case with Iron Man 3. My press screening isn’t until tomorrow, but the Shane Black-directed and Robert Downey Jr./Gwyneth Paltrow-starring threequel has already made a rather stunning $195 million overseas since opening in 42 markets on Wednesday. This is even more than the $185 million The Avengers debuted with overseas last summer on this weekend in 39 markets. Iron Man 2 also opened overseas first three summers ago, earning $92 million for its trouble, while the first Iron Man earned $99 million in its overseas debut, so this is pretty much par for the course. One could argue that the 3D ticket-price bump somewhat accounts for the gap between Iron Man 3 and the first two films, but I’m not going to nitpick a $195 million five-day debut.
The first two Iron Man films earned $266 million and $311 million overseas respectively, with the second film out-grossing the first ‘over there’ even as it came in slightly under the first film’s domestic gross, so Iron Man 3 will have out-grossed the overseas numbers of its predecessors probably by the end of next week. In terms of overseas debuts, it’s the eighth-biggest, behind the $199 million debut for Twilight: Breaking Dawn 2 and ahead of the $193 million debut of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. For the record, overseas openings are sometimes tough to compare because of how many markets a given film opens in and/or what day of the week a film opens, but this is still a shockingly good debut for what should be a major worldwide box office player for summer 2013. It broke opening weekend records in Singapore, Indonesia, Argentina, Vietnam, Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia, and Hong Kong.
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