Iron Man 3 earns $175 million over opening weekend
May 5, 2013

Disney continues to reap the benefits of their Marvel acquisition as Iron Man 3 starring Robert Downey Jr. earned approximately $175 million on opening weekend. The film follows Downey's character Tony Stark/Iron Man dealing with the aftermath of the events of last year's The Avengers, which earned over $1.5 billion worldwide.

This third film in the Iron Man franchise now holds the record for the second-best box office opening weekend ever. It only seems appropriate that the film holding the record for best opening weekend ever is the aforementioned The Avengers, with $207.4 million.

Not only is the box office total astonishing because of its place in the record books, but Hollywood has always been skeptical of whether or not a film franchise has "legs" to continue being popular when releasing a third installment. In addition, Jon Favreau, who directed the first two films (and holds a small role in this movie) handed the directorial reigns to Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang). Neither of those concerns could stop the movie from earning an 'A' on CinemaScore or amassing close to $680 million worldwide as of May 5th. If that number doesn't seem impressive, Iron Man 2 earned $623 at the worldwide box office over its entire run.

Downey Jr. has been coy about whether or not he's willing and/or interested in playing Iron Man in any more films (including the yet-to-be-titled Avengers sequel). Regardless of his decision, the three films in the Iron Man franchise have combined to earn nearly $1.9 billion. Even more amazing? Downey Jr. recently confirmed the negotiation of a rare contractual clause in Hollywood that pays an actor/actress a percentage of a film's profits. He reportedly signed such an agreement before playing Iron Man for the first time back in 2008, and recently confirmed this deal made him close to $50 million richer because of the success of The Avengers. While the specifics of the deal have only been speculated, imagine how much he may have earned from playing the same character in four different films that have earned an amazing $3.3 billion.