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'Iron Man 3' Takes Off with Second-Highest Debut Ever

The North American debut of Disney feature “Iron Man 3” is bested only by Marvel’s "The Avengers.”

Iron Man 3 made the record books as it opened to $175.3 million in North America, the number two debut of all time behind fellow Marvel feature The Avengers ($207.4 million).

Overseas, the Disney and Marvel feature grossed $175.9 million in its second weekend, putting the 3D movie's international total at $504.8 million and worldwide total at $680.1 million. Internationally, Iron Man 3 -- the first title in the franchise to be released in 3D -- is all but matching Avengers overseas, where 3D remains a big draw.

Iron Man 3 -- directed by franchise newcomer Shane Black – may join an elite club of films ultimately grossing $1 billion or more. The film is another sizeable victory for Marvel and parent company Disney, giving them the top two slots on the list of all-time North American openings as Iron Man 3 beat out the final Harry Potter pic ($169.2 million).

Iron Man 3 has already surpassed the total global box office of Iron Man ($585 million), Iron Man 2 ($624 million), Thor ($449 million) and Captain America ($369 million). The feature zoomed past the $128.1 million domestic opening of Iron Man 2.

Overseas, Iron Man 3's performance propelled Disney to cross the $1 billion mark at the international box office. The movie also shattered records for IMAX, which took in $30 million globally over the weekend for a worldwide total of $40.2 million.

See below for the top 10 films for the May 3-5 weekend at the North American box office:

1. Iron Man 3, (Disney/Marvel) $175.3 million

2. Pain & Gain (Paramount) $7.6 million, $33.9 million

3. 42 (Warner Bros/Legendary) $6.2 million, $78.3 million

4. Oblivion (Universal) $5.8 million, $76 million

5. The Croods (Fox/DreamWorks Animation) $4.2 million, $168.7 million

6. The Big Wedding (Lionsgate/Millennium) $3.9 million, $14.2 million

7. Mud (Roadside Attractions) $2.2 million, $5.2 million

8. Oz the Great and Powerful (Disney) $1.8 million, $228.6 million

9. Scary Movie 5 (The Weinstein Co.) $1.4 million, $29.6 million

10. The Place Beyond the Pines (Focus/Sidney Kimmel) $1.3 million, $18.7 million

Box office numbers were obtained on

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.