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Everywhere But Here, 'Iron Man 3' Is Already Huge

Iron Man 3 doesn't open in North America until this Friday (May 3), but this weekend, it's already up and whomping The Avengers at the international box office. The new adventures of Tony Stark, directed and co-written by Lethal Weaponscreenwriter Shane Black, brought in $195.3 million. That beat a mere $185.1 million when The Avengersopened internationally to make it the biggest opening weekend ever in a bunch of countries, including Argentina and Indonesia. (There are some countries where it's yet to open, including China.)

So if you were hoping that the superhero movie might loosen its grip on the public consciousness, you've got bigger problems than your local mall; you'll have to take it up with Buenos Aires.

Marvel has plenty more where that came from — another Thor movie, another Captain America movie, another Avengers movie, and more. It's been a pretty ho-hum year in theaters so far, with movies like Oz The Great And Powerful and Identity Thief making good money but hardly seeming to make a cultural dent, so this may very well be the first widely beloved movie of the year.

As for the domestic box office, as the number-crunchers at Box Office Mojo point out, you might have expected that as Pain & Gain had a big weekend and everyone started gearing up for action movies, a comedy engineered to give an older female audience somewhere else to go might be welcome, but that didn't help The Big Wedding. It made a very modest $7.5 million on a cast including Robert De Niro, Susan Sarandon, Katherine Heigl and Diane Keaton. (Perhaps people saw Robin Williams as a priest in License To Wed, and quite justifiably ran far, far away.) (Seriously, did you see License To Wed? Yikes.)

At any rate, Iron Man 3 will be bringing its enormous clanking body to U.S. theaters this Friday, where it will surely stomp just about everything else into tiny pieces.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Linda Holmes is a pop culture correspondent for NPR and the host of Pop Culture Happy Hour. She began her professional life as an attorney. In time, however, her affection for writing, popular culture, and the online universe eclipsed her legal ambitions. She shoved her law degree in the back of the closet, gave its living room space to DVD sets of The Wire, and never looked back.