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Iron Man 3: The second-highest opening weekend ever

Iron Man 3: The second-highest opening weekend ever
May 6, 2013 JEREMY FEIST

Iron Man 3

After The Avengers earned so much money that Disney started using $20 bills as napkins, it probably shouldn’t be too surprising that Iron Man 3 followed in its footsteps with a massive opening weekend, the second-highest after (guess?) The Avengers. Box Office Mojo reports …

Kicking off the Summer movie season this weekend, Iron Man 3 lived up to sky-high expectations with an estimated $175.3 million haul. That ranks second all-time behind last year’s The Avengers ($207.4 million), and is way up on the previous Iron Man outings. The movie also continues to do phenomenal business overseas, and is on its way to earning well over $1 billion worldwide.

Iron Man 3‘s $175.3 million debut is a huge leap over Iron Man 2‘s $128.1 million. That’s a remarkable achievement given the dodgy history of three-quels—nearly all of them decline from their predecessor—and Iron Man 2‘s questionable reputation. The main reason for this is simple: audiences viewed Iron Man 3 more as follow-up to The Avengers, which is almost universally beloved, than as a sequel to Iron Man 2.

Just to put into perspective how much money Iron Man 3 made this weekend: If you added together everything that the rest of the top ten movies earned, Iron Man 3 still would have out-earned them by about $141 million. And that’s what happens when you put Robert Downey Jr. in a rocket suit: He sexes the box office so hard that everything around him crumbles.