UPDATED APR 29: One Marvel Studios film has replaced another as the international opening weekend record holder after Disney confirmed on Monday  that Iron Man 3 had usurped the previous $185.1m mark set by The Avengers and took $3m more than Sunday estimates.
Iron Man 3 arrived in 42 markets representing 79% of the marketplace on an estimated $198.4m through Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International. It opened at number one in every market and set a string of records, scoring the biggest debut of the year-to-date in every market in Europe,
With debuts still to come from China on May 1, North America on May 3 as well as Germany and Russia this week, the first bona fide blockbuster of summer season 2013 has arrived.
The UK led the way with the second biggest Marvel Studios launch in history behind 2012 release The Avengers on $21.1m, followed by South Korea on $19.5m, Australia on $18m for Disney and Marvel Studios’ biggest debut and Mexico on $17.1m for the third biggest opening weekend of all time.
Elsewhere the film generated $15.8m in France for the second biggest Marvel Studios opening behind Spider-Man 3, $12.9m in Brazil for the second biggest opening weekend, $11.5m in Italy for the biggest April launch and a pair of all-time opening weekend records in Taiwan and the Philippines on $8.3m and $7.4m, respectively.
A $5.4m Japanese debut was kickstarted by Marvel Studios’ third biggest opening day, while $5.1m in India resulted in the second biggest debut, some 44% above The Avengers last year.
Spain generated $4.9m while in a trio of all-time opening weekends the superhero smash delivered $5m in Hong Kong, $4.7m in Malaysia and $5.3m in Indonesia.
Iron Man 3 also set opening records in Argentina and Singapore, opening day records in Taiwan, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia plus Asia-Pacific and Latin America.
There were new all-time Marvel Studios opening weekends in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Finland, Hungary, Romania, New Zealand, Argentina, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Philippines and Malaysia as well as the aforementioned Australia.
Shane Black directed Iron Man 3 and Robert Downey Jr stars alongside Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Jon Favreau (who directed the first two episodes), Rebecca Hall, Guy Pearce and Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin.
By Sunday 113 IMAX screens had generated a record $7.2m for a $64,000 per-screen average, eclipsing even the launch last year of The Avengers.
There were record debuts in Brazil, Taiwan, the Philippines and the Netherlands. IMAX top brass reported that many individual theatres set new opening records on Friday and Saturday including locations in the UK, Mexico, France, India and Hong Kong.
There were other films in release over the weekend.
- UPDATE: DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods added $13.2m through Fox International from 7,865 screens in 67 markets to reach $290.2m.
- UPDATE: Universal Pictures International’s Oblivion brought in a further $13.6m from 7,700 sites in 60 territories to raise the running total to $134.6m.
- Paramount Pictures International executives reported that G.I. Joe: Retaliation added $10.2m from 10,866 sites in 62 territories for $232.7m and grossed $8.1m in China in the second weekend to stand at $50m.
- Scary Movie 5 grossed $6.7m through The Weinstein Company’s international licensees as the early running total climbed to $13m.
- Olympus Has Fallen grossed approximately $4.2m through Nu Image licensees to reach $30m.
- Les Profs added $3.8m through UGC to reach $14m.
- Sony Pictures Releasing International heads reported that Evil Dead grossed $1.1m from 865 screens in 28 markets to reach $15.3m.
- UPDATE: Jack The Giant Slayer has amassed $131.4m through Warner Bros Pictures International.
- The Place Beyond The Pines generated approximately $1.3m through Sierra/Affinity licensees to stand at $15.5m internationally and $31.7m worldwide.
- StudioCanal opened The Look Of Love in the UK on $326,000 from 140 sites including $18,000 in previews. Evil Dead has reached $4m and The Place Beyond The Pines stands at $3.7m.