Iron_Man_3_Tony_StarkThe Walt Disney Studios is in for a huge box office weekend with Marvel’s Iron Man 3 opening in upwards of 4000 theatres across the United States and Canada tonight and tomorrow.

The film has already brought in $242.1 million internationally. It opened last weekend in over thirty countries, where it earned $198.4 million in its first three days—the ninth biggest overseas opening weekend ever, easily topping the foreign opening weekend total of $185.1 million earned last year by The Avengers.

The Avengersmassive success is feeding Iron Man 3’s strong performance. Although not officially a sequel (that is set for May 1, 2015), Iron Man 3‘s is effectively just that. “[It] is not being viewed as an Iron Man sequel as much as an Avengers sequel,” Keith Simanton, the managing editor of IMDb, which owns Box Office Mojo, tells The Atlantic Wire.

With a No. 1 opening guaranteed for North America and a total worldwide gross of at least $1 billion all but certain, the biggest question now is whether Iron Man 3 will be able to surpass The Avengers’ record $207.4 million domestic opening.

Industry watchers are doubtful, but I wouldn’t discount the possibility. It’s hard to picture a single moviegoer who saw The Avengers in theatres and even mildly enjoyed it (as I did) not wanting to come back for more.

Are you going to see Iron Man 3 this weekend?

Author

Mike Bastoli has been blogging at The Disney Blog since 2009. Until 2011, he covered Pixar Animation Studios on his own website, The Pixar Blog, which became one of the most popular on the Web dedicated to Pixar news, the New York Times calling it the “definitive unofficial chronicler of the animation powerhouse". In 2011, Mike expanded his coverage to the entire world of feature animation, renaming his site Big Screen Animation. He retired Big Screen Animation in 2014 and is considering future writing opportunities. Besides Disney, Mike is an avid fan of Apple and The Beatles. He resides near Toronto.