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

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.

Domestic

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%

Overseas

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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