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‘Iron Man 3’ Zooms Past ‘Avengers’ Overseas

Disney-Marvel pic tackles $195 million bow, while 'Pain and Gain' wins Stateside with $20 million

Forget the Avengers. Tony Stark proved he’s bad-ass enough all by himself.

With a record-smashing $195.3 million international opening, Disney-Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” soared past last year’s $185.1 million overseas debut of “The Avengers,” marking the biggest opening weekends in many territories throughout Asia and Latin America.

The nearly $200 million bow for “Iron Man 3,” which kickstarted Wednesday in a few markets and rolled out to 42 territories, still trails the benchmark international openings of blockbusters “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” ($260.4 million) and the reigning champ, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” with its $307 million overseas start.

“The surprise is the magnitude of this opening, not necessarily that audiences are responding to the movie,” said Disney distribution exec Dave Hollis. “We believe this (opening) to be a strong indication of what will lead to extraordinary word-of-mouth worldwide.

“As people start reading headlines of the size of this opening, I suspect it will act as a catalyst for the Thursday night opening Stateside,” Hollis added.

The feeling of an early summer kickstart, provided by “Iron Man 3,” may have helped Paramount’s Stateside launch of its mid-budgeted Michael Bay laffer “Pain and Gain,” which overperformed with an estimated $20 million through Sunday. The $26 million film was tracking somewhere in the mid-to-high teens.

Meanwhile, Lionsgate’s nuptial comedy “The Big Wedding” underperformed, collecting just $7.5 million. Pic was expected to land north of $10 million.

But the big question now for the Stateside box office is whether “Iron Man 3” can translate its boffo overseas bow domestically the way “Avengers” did last year, when it shattered records with a $207 million domestic opening. So far, “Iron Man 3” has been tracking in the $120 million range, though that should increase after this weekend.

“The world seems to be responding to this movie as if it’s a sequel to ‘The Avengers,'” said one rival studio exec.

Iron Man 3” earned top coin in every market, led by the U.K., where it grossed $21.5 million. South Korea followed with $19.2 million while in Australia the film grossed an estimated $18.4 million in five days, a studio best for both Disney and Marvel.

Imax also earned a company high for any Marvel release with “Iron Man 3,” contributing $7.2 million on just 113 screens. That translates to a whopping average of $64,000 per screen.

Disney still has to open the film in Russia, Germany and China, the latter of which has seen stellar advanced ticket sales ahead of its May 1 local launch.

At the Stateside specialty B.O., Roadside Attractions’ Southern coming-of-ager “Mud” earned a solid $2.2 million from 363 runs, for a per-screen average of $6,022. The film, which stars Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon, launched in 90-plus domestic markets, performing well throughout the South and Midwest, with top-ranking grosses in some commercial plexes.

Roadside expands the film to more than 500 locations on Friday.

Pain and Gain” begins rolling out internationally in August. Its Stateside playability, meanwhile, is tough to predict given its divisive reception. The film received an overall C+ CinemaScore: Auds under 35 gave the film a B rating, while those 50 and over rated it an F.

“Michael knew he was making a polarizing movie, so he made it for a price,” said Par marketing and distribution exec Megan Colligan. “We all knew that was how the movie would play. That was the point.”

Likewise, “The Big Wedding” received a C+ rating. The film, starring Robert De Niro, Susan Sarandon, Amanda Seyfried and Diane Keaton, earned 77% of its gross from women, with more than half of the audience over 30.

As for the domestic holdovers, Universal’s Tom Cruise sci-fier “Oblivion” held better-than-expected, down just 53% in its second outing with $17.4 million. Pic’s cumed almost $65 million Stateside, with just south of $200 million worldwide. That still seems troubling for the $120 million film (not including marketing), especially with “Iron Man” on deck domestically.

Holding like a champ is Fox-DreamWorks Animation’s “The Croods,” totaling $163 million Stateside and $453 million globally.

Domestic

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

  1. Pain and Gain (1): $20.0; 3,277; $6,103; $20.0; —
  2. Oblivion (2): $17.4; 3,792; $4,600; $64.7; -53%
  3. 42 (3): $10.7; 3,405; $3,150; $69.1; -39%
  4. The Big Wedding (1): $7.5; 2,633; $2,848; $7.5; —
  5. The Croods (6): $6.6; 3,283; $2,010; $163.0; -29%
  6. G.I. Joe: Retaliation (5): $3.6; 2,707; $1,337; $116.4; -37%
  7. Scary Movie 5 (3): $3.5; 2,733; $1,265; $27.5; -44%
  8. Olympus Has Fallen (6): $2.8; 2,334; $1,186; $93.1; -38%
  9. The Place Beyond the Pines (5): $2.7; 1,584; $1,704; $16.2; -45%
  10. Jurassic Park (3D re) (4): $2.3; 1,848; $1,250; $42.0; -43%

Overseas

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

  1. Iron Man 3 (1): $195.3; 42; n/a; $195.3; $195.3; —
  2. The Croods (6): $13.1; 67; 7,865; $290.0; $453.0; -27%
  3. Oblivion (3): $12.8; 60; 7,700; $134.1; $198.8; -61%
  4. G.I. Joe: Retaliation (5): $10.2; 62; 10,866; $232.7; $349.1; -75%

*in millions of $

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