There was no question, of course, which film was going to win the box office title this weekend. Instead the question was how "Iron Man 3" would stack up historically. And now we have that answer, as the latest entry in Marvel's ongoing shared world superhero epic brought in an estimated $175.3 million to record the second highest opening weekend in history.
It claims that crown from "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2," which brought in $169.2 million two years ago. The only movie to make more money than "Iron Man 3?" Marvel's last summer blockbuster, "The Avengers," which earned $207.4 million in its opening frame.
Which is no coincidence as the success of "The Avengers" has been a driving force behind "Iron Man 3's" impressive debut. According to Deadline, 88% of ticket buyers on Fandango stated that their enjoyment of "The Avengers" directly affected their decision to see "Iron Man 3."
And with an A Cinemascore, chances are fans will continue flocking to "Iron Man 3." They certainly haven't stopped supporting to movie overseas, where "Iron Man 3" opened more than a week early; in just 12 days of release, "Iron Man 3" has already brought in an incredible $680.1 million worldwide, putting the film on track to easily pass the $1 billion barrier, something only 15 other films have ever done.
The $680.1 million total is already more than any previous Marvel solo film. The previous high water mark for the studio's solo efforts had been 2010's "Iron Man 2," which earned $624 million worldwide during its entire run.
It should be interesting to see how next weekend's big new release, Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby," fares. It looks like an interesting bit of counter-programming, but taking down "Iron Man 3?" That would be a pretty great accomplishment indeed.
Here's a look at the full box office top ten, courtesy of Hollywood.com:
1. "Iron Man 3" - $175.3m (our review)
2. "Pain & Gain" - $7.6m
3. "42" - $6.2m (our review)
4. "Oblivion" - $5.8m (our review)
5. “The Croods” – $4.2m (our review)
6. "The Big Wedding" - $3.9m (our review)
7. "Mud" - $2.2m (our review)
8. "Oz the Great and Powerful" - $1.8m (our review)
9. "Scary Movie 5" - $1.4m (our review)
10. "The Place Beyond the Pines" - $1.3m (our review)