LOS ANGELES: Superhero sequel Iron Man 3 rocketed to the top of US and Canadian box office charts, kicking off Hollywood’s summer movie season with $175.3 million in weekend ticket sales for the second-biggest film opening of all time.
Combined with international sales, the movie from Walt Disney Co’s Marvel studio brought its global haul to an estimated $680.1 million, Disney said on Sunday.
The film stars Robert Downey Jr as billionaire businessman Tony Stark, whose superhero alter-ego spars with an evil extremist.
Iron Man 3 fed off the success of the first two installments plus last year’s The Avengers, a superhero mash-up that united Iron Man, The Hulk and other Marvel characters. Avengers opened on the same weekend last year with $207.4 million over its first three days, a record for the United States and Canada.
Iron Man 3 finished second on the all-time list behind Avengers and ahead of the July 2011 release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2, which opened with $169.2 million, according to the box office division of Hollywood.com.
“It is an extraordinary start,” said Dave Hollis, Disney’s executive vice president of distribution. “The start on the US side is something that we are exceptionally proud of.”
The $200-million production is another hit for Disney, which is focusing its movie studio on franchise films like Iron Man that can spawn movie sequels, toy sales and theme-park rides.
The two previous Iron Man movies earned a combined $1.2 billion around the world, according to the Box Office Mojo website.
The big domestic numbers for Iron Man 3 boosted the overall box office, which is dragging behind 2012 after a sluggish winter and spring.
The Iron Man mania trounced all other movies over the weekend.
Last week’s winner, dark action comedy Pain & Gain, dropped to second place with $7.6 million. Baseball drama 42 took the third slot with $6.2 million.
Rounding out the top five, Tom Cruise’s post-apocalyptic thriller Oblivion grossed $5.79 million, and the animated film , rang up $4.2 million.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 7th, 2013.
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