Marvel Studios’ blockbuster season curtain raiser is on course to soar past $400m internationally and most likely will break the $500m worldwide barrier by the end of this weekend after Disney reported an estimated $24.3m haul on Tuesday.

The running total through Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International currently stands at $242.1m and does not include the Chinese launch through DMG Entertainment on Wednesday [May 1], which is poised to deliver a hefty number.

DMG is a co-financier of the superhero saga and orchestrated with Marvel Studios the shooting of extra footage for a bespoke Chinese version.

Opening day China numbers may emerge on Thursday, although China is notoriously slow at announcing estimates.

Iron Man 3 has reached $24.3m in the UK, $23.7m in South Korea, $21.7m in Mexico, $20.7m in Australia, $19.5m in France, $15.7m in Brazil and $13.3m in Italy.

The superhero adaptation stands at $10m in Taiwan, $8.9m in the Philippines, $8.2m in Japan, $6.8m in Indonesia, $6.7m in India, $6.4m in Hong Kong, $6.2m in Malaysia and $5.5m in Spain.

Robert Downey Jr and friends are set to touch down in North America on Friday [3].