Box Office Report: 'Iron Man 3' Breaks Records in China With Estimated $21.5 Million Opening

Iron Man 3 Downey without Suit - H 2013
Marvel Entertainment

Iron Man 3 Downey without Suit - H 2013

UPDATED: The third installment in the blockbuster Marvel franchise has now earned a whopping $307.7 million overseas, surpassing the first "Iron Man," "Captain America" and "Thor."

Making history, Disney and Marvel's Iron Man 3 scored the biggest opening day ever in China with an estimated $21.5 million.

The superhero tentpole eclipsed the $17 million debut of Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon, the previous record-holder for biggest opening day.

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With not all cinemas counted, the Chinese government's early Wednesday number for Iron Man's Wednesday is $18.7 million. That number is expected to grow to $21.5 million when all grosses are tallied.

Iron Man 3 also posted the biggest midnight gross of all time in China, where a special cut of the movie is playing, a result of the fact that China's DMG co-financed the tentpole.

With the stellar start in China, Iron Man 3 zoomed past the $300 million mark at the international box office in its first week, playing like a sequel to last year's Marvel blockbuster The Avengers.

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On Wednesday, the threequel took in a total of $65.6 million, boosted by the May Day holiday in many markets, including China. That pushed the pic's international total to $307.7 million, more than the entire foreign run of the first Iron Man ($267 million) as well as fellow Marvel pics Thor ($268 million) and Captain America ($192 million). It's expected to pass up Iron Man 2 ($312 million) sometime on Thursday.

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Korea leads with $27.6 million, followed by Mexico ($26.8 million), the U.K. ($26.8 million), France ($22.6 million), Australia ($21.6 million) and Brazil ($20.4 million), among others.

Hopes are high for the tentpole's launch in North America, where it begins rolling out Thursday night. Tracking suggests the film will open north of $150 million.