‘Iron Man 3’ Second Biggest Domestic Bow of All Time With $175 Million

'Iron Man 3' Second Biggest Domestic

Tentpole pushes Mouse's 2013 global grosses past $1 billion

With a domestic three-day haul projected at $175.3 million, Disney-Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” is the highest domestic opening weekend on record second only to last year’s comic book-based actioner from a related franchise “The Avengers.”

The threequel’s Stateside bow is nearly as high as the int’l gross from its soph sesh. “Iron Man 3” dropped just 11% to $175.9 million in three days overseas this weekend.

Worldwide, the tentpole has cumed $680.1 million thus far. With this, the Mouse has crossed the $1 billion mark at the global box office for 2013 for the 19th consecutive year, and the fastest it has ever done so.

Among int’l berths, “Iron Man 3” opened in China this weekend, which quickly skyrocketed to its biggest overseas contributor with $63.5 million. The film was distributed in China by DMG Entertainment with about four minutes of footage added to the Chinese theatrical cut.

“Iron Man 3” also repped the biggest opening day of all time for China and Russia, among eight other markets.

This time last year, following a similar trajectory and similarly exceeding pre-weekend expectations, “Avengers” opened to $207.4 million Stateside. “Avengers” went on to a domestic lifetime total of $623 million, and a global lifetime total of $1.5 billion.

Also like “Avengers,” the threequel opened early overseas. It has been in theaters 12 days in 54 territories representing 100% of the int’l marketplace.

While Disney isn’t indefinitely married to the strategy of launching early abroad, distribution exec Dave Hollis says this timeframe works because “May Day as a holiday resonates with 80 markets around the world.”

And with strong May perfs from “Avengers” and now “Iron Man 3,” the Mouse appears to be laying claim to the frame.

The biggest success factor for “Iron Man 3” domestically, as it was for “Avengers,” was playing well with family auds. A notoriously difficult demographic to predict, families often account for films overperforming pre-weekend expectations, and the family factor certainly helped “Iron Man 3” succeed by contributing 27% of the film’s weekend gross, 3% more than to “Avengers.”

“‘The Avengers’ helped move this kind of film away from just ‘superhero movies’ to event films,” Hollis said.

The latest “Iron Man” also enjoyed boosts from 3D and Imax formats.

This weekend marks a global B.O. record for Imax, as “Iron Man 3” generates nearly $30 million for the premium format ($16.5 million domestic, $13 million int’l). Adding last weekend, the Imax cume stands at $40.2 million as screens sell out to a per screen average of about $50,000 all around the world.

“It’s as strong in Beijing as it is in Omaha as it is in Mumbai,” added Imax topper Greg Foster.

Only 45% of the weekend’s gross came from 3D screenings, compared with 52% to “Avengers.” This result is on par, however, with the more recent “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” suggesting the format may be hitting a plateau. Of this, 9% came from 3D Imax engagements.

Counterprogramming the tentpole, Millennium Entertainment opened “The Iceman” starring Michael Shannon at four locations this weekend to a per screen average of $23,000, while Lionsgate’s Pantelion bowed “Cinco de Mayo: The Battle” at 20 locations for a total haul of $70,000.


Film (Weeks in release): 3-day gross*; Locations; Per-theater average; Cume*; Percent change

  1. Iron Man 3 (1): $175.3; 4,253; $41,218; $175.3; —
  2. Pain and Gain (2): $7.6; 3,287; $2,312; $33.9; -62%
  3. 42 (4): $6.2; 3,345; $1,857; $78.3; -42%
  4. Oblivion (3): $5.8; 3,430; $1,691; $76; -67%
  5. The Croods (7); $4.2; 2,915; $1,449; $168.7; -37%
  6. The Big Wedding (2); $3.9; 2,633; $1,472; $14.2; -49%
  7. Mud (2); $2.2; 576; $3,733; $5.2; -3%
  8. Oz the Great and Powerful (9); $1.8; 1,160; $1,571; $228.6; +1%
  9. Scary Movie 5 (4): $1.4; 1,857; $773; $29.6; -58%
  10. G.I. Joe: Retaliation (6): $1.3; 1,804; $721; $118.8; -65%


Film (Weeks in release): Weekend gross*; Territories; Screens; Int’l cume*; World cume*; Percent change

  1. Iron Man 3 (2): $175.9; 54; n/a; $504.8; $680.1; -11%
  2. The Croods (7); $17.4; 50; 6,569; $351.7; $520.4; +32%
  3. Oblivion (4); $6.5; 61; 6,500; $146.8; $222.8; -49%
  4. Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (16); $1.7; 6; 481; $168.2; $223.9; +863%
  5. G.I. Joe: Retaliation (6); $1.2; 62; 2,795; $237.1; $355.9; -88%

*in millions of $

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  1. The est thing Disney has done is leaving Marvel Studios ALONE. The early release strategy was in place BEFORE the Avengers. Paramount ere Marvel Studios’ hired distributors and they opened Thor “early” and that went on to earn more internationally than Iron Man. They also did it with Iron Man 2, upping the international gross from Iron Man. Disney were smart enough to listen to Marvel Studios and leave the release pattern well alone.

    In fact it was Disney dragging their feet on the Distribution side that meat Sony were able to nab the first weekend in Mat slot for Spider-Man 2; leaving Disney to have to push Captain America: The Winter Soldier to April.

    Marvel Studios deserve a lot o credit for what they have done.Back in 2007 and later people were scoffing and predicting Marvel Studios were going to lose money and their rights to the characters after borrowing $525m to make films out of , so called, “2nd tier” characters. Disney bought Marvel after their master plan was well in effect with 2 films released, 3 in pre-production and a real long term strategy mapped out. May Disney long continue to leave them well alone.

  2. Ted Nolan says:

    Parents: Leave your &^$&$% little kids at home when going to the movies. Thanks for ruining IM3.

  3. Jim says:

    And so it goes, riding the momentum of success IM3 diverts from the formula of success and ends up with a steaming pile…oh they’ll make there billion plus but disregarding the fans will not go over well…I’m not looking forward to Avengers 2 now that I’ve seen what Disney did to Marvel.

    • Bill says:

      I loved IM3; I’ve no idea where the negative reviews are coming from.

      • Sorry mate, but as much as I predicted a large number of fans would have trouble dealing with what the MCU did to the Mandarin, I think you are part of a very vocal minority.

        I was lucky I went to see Iron Man on opening night (35th of May) , but we had already planned to see the film the following day with our kids (assuming it was suitable). So I was lucky i having a very quick turnaround, to assess the film anew.. The first time I saw it I was so shocked I almost saw the rest of the film in a kind of daze! everyone was raving about it, and I couldn’t answer them. I KNEW that the film was very good. very fumy, great twists and performances and some amazing action. But THE MANDARIN!?!?!? But watching the second time, already aware of what the Mandarin was, I could just enjoy it. The film is brilliant and don’t assume that Marvel are done with The Mandarin. Thanos has business on Earth, but he’ll be “banned” from coming here in person. So he will work through stooges, stooges given real power. Maybe our guy will be disgruntled with prison life / terrorist prison life, and and he’ll be willing to accept getting his 10 rings filled with real power and he’ll join the Animation, the not dead whiplash, Hammer and more in Avengers 2? Relax and enjoy the film, it isn’t the Marvel Universe, it’s The Marvel Cinematic Universe, things are and will continue to be different.

      • Dutra says:

        When will R2D2 and the Ewoks make their appearance?

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