Robert Downey Jr. tentpole Iron Man 3 made history for Marvel Studios and Disney, as it opened to a superhero-sized $195.3 million at the international box office, kicking off the summer season with plenty of heat.
The $200 million tentpole, opening in 42 foreign markets a week ahead of its May 3 North American debut, exceeded expectations in surpassing the $185.1 million international bow of last year’s Marvel blockbuster The Avengers, which went on to gross $1.51 billion globally.
Box office observers agree that Iron Man 3 is playing more like a sequel to Avengers — which featured a myriad of Marvel superheroes, including Downey’s Iron Man — than a follow-up to Iron Man 2, which posted a foreign opening of roughly $100 million in 2010.
Iron Man 3 wasn’t the only good news for Hollywood at the foreign box office, even with the Marvel film sucking up much of the oxygen.
DreamWorks Animation and Fox’s animated event pic The Croods took in $13.1 million for the weekend from 67 markets, pushing its foreign total to $308 million and worldwide cume to $471 million. The 3D toon has earned $18 million in China.
Universal’s Tom Cruise sci-fi epic Oblivion placed No. 3 for the weekend, grossing $12.8 million in its third outing for an international total of $134.1 million and a pleasing global cume of $198.8 million. The film opens in China on May 10, followed by Peru, Venezuela and Japan.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation also continued to prosper, grossing $10.2 million for a foreign cume of $232.7 million. The Paramount sequel now boasts a stellar worldwide total of $349.1 million.
Despite its distinctly pro-American theme, White House action pic Olympus Has Fallen is doing business overseas, grossing $4.2 million from 13 markets for an international total of $30 million and pushing the pic’s global cume north of $100 million to $123.1 million.
And historical epic Lincoln, from Steven Spielberg, upped its foreign total to $88.1 million thanks to a solid showing in Japan, where it came in No. 2 for the weekend behind Iron Man 3 with $877,000. Lincoln, opening last weekend in Japan, has now taken in $4.8 million in that country.
Indie drama The Place Beyond the Pines, pairing Bradley Cooper and Ryan Gosling, took in $1.1 million from six markets for a foreign total of $15 million and worldwide cume of $31.2 million.
Below, the cast of Iron Man 3 talks with THR on the red carpet at the film’s premiere: