-- another Walt Disney comic book superhero flick -- which earned $207.4 million when it opened a year ago.
Iron Man is back and how! In an all-new franchise of the superhero series, Robert Downey Jr. will once again be reprising his role as Tony Stark. And this time, there'll be a sprinkling of romance with Pepper Potts too!
In second place for this weekend's box office was action comedy Pain & Gain, starring Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne The Rock Johnson, with $7.6 million in ticket sales, according to industry tracker Exhibitor Relations.
Not far behind was 42, a biopic about trailblazing black baseball star Jackie Robinson, which made $6.2 million
The fourth spot, with $5.8 million, went to Oblivion, the post-apocalyptic action flick starring Tom Cruise, followed by The Croods -- a stone-age cartoon -- in fifth, with $4.2 million.
The Big Wedding -- a star-studded comedy featuring Robert De Niro, Katherine Heigl, Diane Keaton and Robin Williams -- came in sixth place, taking in $3.9 million.
Mud, a coming-of-age story starring Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon, earned an estimated $2.2 million, for seventh place, the film's first week in the top ten after going into wide release a week earlier.
And in eighth, Walt Disney's 3D fantasy adventure flick Oz the Great and Powerful earned $1.8 million, for a nine-week total of $228.6 million.
Scary Movie 5, the latest installment in the slasher-comedy franchise, took the ninth spot with $1.4 million.
Rounding out the top 10 at $1.3 million was The Place Beyond the Pines, starring Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper.
IRON MAN BUZZ
Iron Man 3 kicks off US, Canada run with $15.6 mn ticket sales
International hit Iron Man 3 flew into US and Canadian theaters, kicking off Hollywood's summer blockbuster season with 15.6 million dollars in ticket sales late Thursday and early today.
The superhero sequel from Walt Disney Co's Marvel studio is expected to finish the weekend with one of the biggest debuts in film history. Box office analysts predict the movie will bring in 150 million dollars or more from today through Sunday, likely ranking in the top five all-time openings. FULL STORY
Iron Man 3 gets record opening at international box office
The Rentrak institute announced that the third installment of the Iron Man franchise generated a whopping $195.3M worldwide during its opening weekend.
While North American fans will have to wait another week to see the film, the debut of Iron Man 3 (outside North America) ranks as the ninth biggest of all time, bumping down Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix ($193M), according to figures published on April 28. BO REPORT
Rashid Irani's review: Iron Man Three
After a hiatus of three years, Robert Downey Jr. unleashes his familiar superhero persona again in the third installment of the blockbuster series. Although it provides the requisite dosage of adrenaline rush, the storyline also underscores the vulnerable side to the high-profile crimefighter. Rashid Irani writes. READ REVIEW
(With additional inputs)