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'Iron Man 3' Takes off with 2nd-Highest Opening Ever

2013-05-07 09:07:28        xinhua
Disney and Marvel's latest superhero actioner "Iron Man 3" ushered in North America's summer movie season with the second best debut of all time and an excellent word of mouth, as moviegoers swarmed into the multiplexes to get a glimpse of the threequel over the weekend.

The Robert Downey Jr.'s highly anticipated starrer, which hit the screen at 4,253 theaters in the Unites States and Canada, is expected to roll up 175.3 million U.S. dollars in ticket receipts and finish as the top grossing film during the Friday-Sunday period, according to Sunday estimates.

The performance consolidated the film's footing as the second biggest Hollywood debut, only behind "The Avengers" (with 207.44 million dollars) debuting last year, and ahead of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" (169.19 million) that opened in 2011.

Forty-five percent of the overall opening gross came from 3D tickets, as the film was converted to 3D in post-production.

As anticipated, the latest installment on the "Iron Man" franchise is well received by critics and audiences alike. Reviews aggregator Rottentomatoes reported a 78-percent approval rating, while moviegoers gave it an encouraging "A" CinemaScore, which bodes well for the film's future performance.

The third film featuring the popular Marvel Comics character, this film was directed by newcomer Shane Black, and stars Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle and Ben Kingsley. A co- production between Marvel Studios and China's DMG Entertainment, " Iron Man 3" was distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

The movie was a male-skewing one, as males made up 61 percent of the audience. And 45 percent of the audience were younger than 25.

The Disney tentpole also excels in several other box office benchmarks, including all-time top-grossing Saturday in North America (with 62.2 million dollars).

Paramount's "Pain and Gain" registered a 62-percent fall to finish in No. 2 with an estimated 7.6-million-dollar gate. Warner Bros.' baseball biopic "42" placed in No. 3 with a 6.2-million- dollar weekend. Universal's "Oblivion" was fourth with 5.8 million dollars worth of tickets.

Rounding out the 10 most popular films in North America this weekend were "The Croods" (4.2 million dollars), "The Big Wedding" (3.9 million), "Mud" (2.2 million), "Oz The Great And Powerful" (1. 8 million), "Scary Movie 5" (1.4 million), and "The Place Beyond The Pines" (1.3 million).

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