‘Iron Man 3’ Opens Nearly $200M Overseas, Bigger Than ‘Avengers’ [Report]

This just in: Iron Man 3 is a huge freaking success.

Iron Man 3 is still a week away from premiering in the U.S., but it has already nearly met its own budget in overseas markets. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film has made $195.3 million overseas from 42 markets, beating last year’s The Avengers, which debuted to $181.1 million internationally.

Industry analysts say that part of Iron Man 3‘s appeal is that it plays like a sequel to The Avengers, which included Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark in an ensemble cast with other Marvel properties including Captain America, Thor and The Hulk.

Now that all of the Marvel films have a pretty clearly set shared-continuity, the “Phase Two” films have a unique chance to perform better than “Phase One.” Proof of concept is Iron Man 3, which nearly doubled the opening of Iron Man 2 in 2010.

Disney president of worldwide distribution Dave Hollis refused to speculate on whether the film would beat The Avengers domestically, but was happy with Iron Man 3‘s early success.

“To say we are beyond encouraged is an understatement,” he said.

Iron Man 3 pairs Downey with director Shane Black, who takes over the series from Jon Favreau. Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle also reprise their respective roles from Iron Man 2.

Thus far, the film has done well with critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes puts it at a 93 percent approval rating based on 54 reviews from professional critics.

“With the help of its charismatic lead, some impressive action sequences, and even a few surprises, Iron Man 3 is a witty, entertaining adventure and possibly one of Marvel’s best yet,” the site says.

Are you excited for Iron Man 3?