'Iron Man' bolts past $300 mil threshold

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Paramount's "Iron Man" becomes 2008's first $300 million domestic grosser today.

Through Tuesday, the Marvel-produced comic book adaptation had rung up an estimated $299.3 million in the U.S. and Canada. And with recent daily grosses for "Iron Man" of no less than $680,000, there was no question about its blowing past the rarefied$300 million mark today.

"(This) is a testament to the talented, hardworking group involved with this picture," Paramount vice chairman Rob Moore said. "Needless to say, we are all thrilled with such an amazing achievement."

Marvel Studios chairman David Maisel called the milestone "the perfect way to kick off" Marvel Entertainment's new production venture. The sophomore production from Marvel Studios — the Universal-distributed action pic "The Incredible Hulk" — debuted last weekend with $55.4 million.

Sony's "Spider-Man 3," which grossed $336.5 million domestically to top 2007 boxoffice rankings, was the first film to cross the $300 million threshold, managing the feat in just 23 days after its May 4 bow. Although "Iron Man" required 51 days to reach a similar mark, its achievement was much less anticipated before the Robert Downey Jr. starrer's unspooling May 1.

May 2007 kick-started two other $300 million grossers: the Paramount-distributed "Shrek the Third" from DreamWorks Animation ($322.7 million) and Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" ($309.4 million).

Among summer 2008's other big openers, Par's "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" is another clear $300 million candidate, with $279.5 million through Tuesday. "Skull" also has grossed $359 million internationally, with the Steven Spielberg film still to open in the lucrative Japan market this weekend.

"Iron Man" has grossed $250 million internationally for a worldwide haul of more than $550 million. The franchise-launching actioner is set for a September bow in Japan.
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