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“Iron Man 3″ opens with second biggest U.S. debut of all time

Marvel Entertainment's "Iron Man 3" has become the year's most successful film, boasting the biggest opening day of all time for China and Russia, and the second-biggest opening of all time in the U.S., at $175.3 million.

From the AP:

"Iron Man 3" had the second-biggest domestic debut ever, behind the $207.4 million start over the same weekend last year for "The Avengers," which teamed Downey's Stark with other Marvel Comics heroes. The new sequel surpassed the $169.2 million opening for 2011's "Harry Potter" finale, the previous second-place debut.

In just nine days, the film shot past the $312 million international total for "Iron Man 2" in its entire theatrical run.

Among the overseas totals so far: $63.5 million in China, $42.6 million in South Korea, $38.3 million in Great Britain and $35.8 million in Mexico.

Disney, Marvel Studio's parent company, attributes part of the film's success to its ongoing "Avengers" franchise, of which "Iron Man" character Tony Stark is a part. "A year ago, we speculated as to the impact of Avengers, and now we're witnessing it first-hand with the success of Iron Man 3," said studio distribution chief Dave Hollis.

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