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.
The opening night sales fell short of the 18.7 million dollars earned a year ago by Disney's The Avengers, which brought together Iron Man, The Hulk and other Marvel superheroes.
Avengers went on to earn 207 million dollars in its first three days, a record for the North American (US and Canadian) market.
Iron Man 3, starring Robert Downey Jr as billionaire businessman Tony Stark, has pulled in 345.4 million dollars in overseas markets since it debuted April 24, Disney said today. The film set opening day records in several countries including China and Russia.
In Iron Man 3, Stark fights to save the world from an extremist known as The Mandarin, played by Ben Kingsley.