'Iron Man' shows mettle overseas, too

Plans are under way to add to the domestic total of digital screens

"Iron Man" dominated the international circuit during the weekend, grossing $96.8 million in its opening surge from about 7,500 screens in 57 markets.

The mighty foreign returns, averaging nearly $13,000 per screen, indicate that the heavy metal hero is destined to become the biggest comic book-inspired superhero on the large screen since "Spider-Man."

Sony opened "Spider-Man 3" internationally a year ago to an estimated $227 million from 16,700 screens in 105 markets. The record for an overseas opening is 2007's "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" from Disney, which garnered $251.5 million in its first six days.

"Iron Man," from Paramount Pictures International, began its three-phase opening surge Wednesday in 27 markets. (partialdiff)