Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 05/6/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
LOS ANGELES -- Iron Man reigns as the standard-bearer of Hollywood superheroes with a $175.3-million domestic opening weekend for his latest sequel and an overseas haul of a half-billion dollars in less than two weeks.
According to studio estimates Sunday, Iron Man 3 has raced to a worldwide total of $680.1 million. That includes $175.9 million in its second weekend overseas, where the film has rung up $504.8 million so far.
No other solo superhero flicks -- not even Batman or Spider-Man instalments-- has managed this kind of business.
Yet the future of Marvel Studios' flagship franchise is in the hands of a mortal man with no metal armour, gadgets or special powers, other than his ability to rebound from Hollywood pariah to hottest star on the planet.
Iron Man 3 hints that Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark might hang up his high-tech suits and live a normal life from now on. As the centerpiece behind not only the Iron Man flicks but also Marvel's superhero ensemble The Avengers, Downey seems crucial to this comic-book world.
Could Disney's Marvel Studios conjure anywhere near the same magic if it relaunched Iron Man with another actor? Without Downey, would the upcoming Avengers sequel have quite the same appeal as last year's record-grossing first instalment?
"Your guess is as good as mine," said Dave Hollis, head of distribution for Disney. "Marvel has found a way to tell interesting stories with a variety of characters over time, and it will continue to do so."
Iron Man 3 had the second-biggest domestic debut ever, behind the $207.4-million start over the same weekend last year for The Avengers, which teamed Downey's Stark with other Marvel Comics heroes. The new sequel surpassed the $169.2-million opening for 2011's Harry Potter finale, the previous second-place debut.
In just nine days, the film shot past the $312-million international total for Iron Man 2 in its entire theatrical run.
Among the overseas totals so far: $63.5 million in China, $42.6 million in South Korea, $38.3 million in Great Britain and $35.8 million in Mexico.
Domestically, Iron Man 3 far outpaced the franchise's first two movies. Iron Man launched the series with a $98.6-million domestic debut in 2008, while 2010's Iron Man 2 opened with $128.1 million.
The film also opened higher than last year's Batman finale The Dark Knight Rises ($160.9 million) and the biggest of the Spider-Man movies ($151.1 million for Spider-Man 3).
-- The Associated Press
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 6, 2013 D2
Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Sale of Joan Fontaine's house to aid animal group
Juliette Binoche on '1,000 Times Good Night'
'Fury' blasts 'Gone Girl' from top of box office
Thicke celebrates his divorce
War movie paints realistic picture of combat
Foreign-language Oscar hope gets local première at film fest
Fans use the Force in sci-fi remake
'Easy Rider' chopper at auction might be phoney
Veteran stuntmen become directors with 'John Wick'
A heartwarming bromance for odd couple in Iceland
CIA cocaine conspiracy compelling
Keanu kills as John Wick
Latest Sparks adaptation doesn't veer from formula
Photos released from film being shot at CFB Shilo
Dazzling animated story turns dark into glorious light
Police: Body found near river could be actress
New film tells Holocaust story of Polanski ally
Polanski opens Paris musical based on Tate film
For Rogen, Hilarity charity is serious business
Review: 'White People' is edgy; has memorable cast
'Modern Family' actress Elizabeth Pena dies at 55
Warner/DC superheroes suiting up for big screen
New on DVD VOD
Web of wonder and woe
Pitt comfortable with oldest son seeing 'Fury'
Neil Patrick Harris says he'll host Oscars in 2015
'Citizen Marc' doc examines the Prince of Pot
Review: Michael Keaton soars in bracing 'Birdman'
William H. Macy on directing 'Rudderless'
College to pay writer $26,000 for rescinded invite
Review: 'Book of Life' celebrates death
New pics from Manitoba filming of war movie Hyena Road
Saldana, Luna talk Day of the Dead, 'Book of Life'
Bruce McCulloch starts a riot in new memoir
Review: 'Fury' a barrage of heavy-handedness
Answering the 'Birdman' signal, Keaton soars again
Naomi Watts was intimidated by Bill Murray