‘Iron Man 3’ Box Office Bigger Than ‘The Avengers’ Overseas Before American Debut

“Iron Man 3” is already looking like a winner even before it makes its American debut on May 3. The new Marvel film grossed $195.3 million overseas in its first week, besting last year’s haul from “The Avengers.”

Deadline notes the record-breaking numbers of “Iron Man 3,” starring Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark and directed by Shane Black (“Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”).  The Marvel/Disney film sees Stark dealing with life after the events of “The Avengers,” as well as the Mandarin, the main adversary in "Iron Man 3."

The movie has yet to open in China and North America, but, in the 42 markets where it’s already playing, “Iron Man 3” is topping the box office charts, and Deadline notes the movie now holds the biggest opening weekend record in Latin America and Asia Pacific.

“Iron Man 3” has yet to open in major markets such as Russia, China and Germany, and, by the time the movie finishes its theatrical run, the movie could challenge “The Avengers” total overseas gross of $888.4 million. In its first weekend overseas, “The Avengers” grossed $185.1 million.

The new “Iron Man” should be the highest-grossing film of the franchise overseas as the near $200 million gross is just shy of the $266 million gross of the first movie and a little more than $110 million away from the foreign box office of “Iron Man 2.”

“Iron Man 3” is also tracking ahead of “The Avengers” in several countries, including China, Australia and Argentina. So far, the movie has grossed $21.5 million in the UK, $19.2 million in South Korea, $18.4 million in Australia and $16.1 million in Mexico.

To some extent, the success of “Iron Man 3” could be credited to the goodwill from “The Avengers” as the success and popularity of Marvel’s big superhero movie led to increased interest in “Iron Man 3.” The film’s critical success as well as good word-of-mouth could lead to an even bigger box office as Marvel begins to pave the way toward “The Avengers 2.”

While Stark and Downey are established characters and arguably the main characters in “The Avengers,” success for “Iron Man 3” was expected. But it will be interesting to see if the shine from Marvel’s recent successes lead to a bump in the box office gross of “Thor: The Dark World” later in 2013 and “Captain America:  The Winter” in 2014.

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