Early International figures state that the Paramount film is already a massive hit – despite it not opening in the US until this weekend. The Tony Stark adventure has so far grossed more than $100 million – more than the start of the first film two years ago!
Iron Man 2 was released early in 53 international markets so that the film would have room to breathe before the rest of the world goes World Cup crazy.
Iron Man 2’s international gross is even more impressive considering that the film hasn’t opened in Germany, Japan and China. Robert Downey Jr.’s first superhero effort opened to $99 million in 2008 – and that included the grosses for its debut in Germany.
The biggest start for Jon Favreau’s latest romp was in the UK, where it opened to a $12 million gross, including previews. The runner-up in the box office department was Korea, where the superhero sequel grabbed $11 million worth of green.
In Australia the Mickey Rourke and Scarlett Johansson co-starring action pic brought in $9 million, while the film banked $8.5 million in France.
With its US release looming, the future looks bright for Iron Man. The original film was something of a sleeper hit (if a $100 million dollar superhero film can be such a thing) due to Robert Downey Jr.’s starring role. It’s hard to believe that in 2008 the actor was box office poison with a troubled personal past. Then the film debuted to $98.6 million and went on to score over $300 million at the US box office alone. This second film looks set to smash that record – with some box office analysts expecting the film to out-gross The Dark Knight in its first three days. Christopher Nolan’s big budget Batman film brought in $158.4 million when it opened in the same summer as the first Marvel adventure.
Reviews have been good for Iron Man 2 – but not as good as the original (read Vic's Iron Man 2 review here), but that shouldn’t really hurt this film's start. While it’s unlikely that Iron Man 2 will surpass The Dark Knight’s debut – it should come close, with a box office take in the region of $150 million.
After Iron Man 2, all eyes will be on Captain America and Thor. While the Chris Evans film should do well domestically, it will be a tough sell abroad where some countries find overt references to Americana difficult to market. Thor is something of an unknown quantity and although the Chris Hemsworth has a solid supporting cast including Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman and director Kenneth Branagh, it remains to be seen if there’s a market for a Norse superhero on the big screen.
Then it’s on to The Avengers – which should be a cash cow on all fronts. The Marvel superhero mash-up is something that audiences haven’t seen on screens and director Joss Whedon would have to really mess things up for that to fail.
Having said that, I’m sure that somebody probably said that in 1996, a year before Joel Schumacher unleashed Batman & Robin with Arnold Schwarzenegger and George Clooney!
Keep reading Screen Rant to see how Iron Man 2 fares when in opens in the US.