UK Box Office

Robert Downey Jr in Iron Man 3

As Disney prepared Iron Man 3 for release, the question was always: would it perform like the first two instalments in the Tony Stark series, or could it fly close to the astonishing success of The Avengers last summer? Iron Man opened in May 2008 with £5.47m including £667,000 in previews. Iron Man 2 followed two years later with £7.66m including previews of £877,000, an increase of 40%. Then April 2012 saw The Avengers soar away with £15.78m, including £2.55m in previews – more than double the Iron Man 2 debut.

With £13.71m including £2.32m in previews,Iron Man 3 is 79% up on the opening of Iron Man 2 and just 13% down on the equivalent number for Avengers. In other words, the film has performed more like a sequel to Avengers than to the Iron Man movies. Marvel’s monster hit last summer has seemingly expanded the audience for Iron Man, and perhaps the whole cast of characters. With Thor: The Dark Worldfollowing this autumn and Captain America: The Winter Soldier set for next spring, the news couldn’t really be any better for Marvel and Disney.

Iron Man 3 performed healthily in both 3D (51.5% of takings) and Imax (6.7%). Disney reports that the film has achieved the second-biggest April opening of all time, behind only its own The Avengers. Globally, the film has debuted with $195m, with the UK grabbing bragging rights as the top territory. However, the US, China, Russia and Germany are yet to open.

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