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By Brent Lang
LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - When it comes to minting money, "Iron Man 3" is just getting started, but the superhero sequel has already destroyed several significant box office milestones.
The film is the second-highest-grossing Marvel production in history even though it has only been in theaters for roughly two weeks. That comes with a big caveat. It doesn't include films based on Marvel characters like Spider-Man that the comic book maker has licensed to other studios, but it does account for all of the movies that the company has produced in-house.
The film's $680 million worldwide haul after a short spell in theaters already dwarfs the $623.9 million that "Iron Man 2" made and the $585.2 million that "Iron Man" grossed in their entire runs. It also towers over the $368.6 million gross for "Captain America: The First Avenger," the $449.3 million take for "Thor" and the $263.4 million total for "The Incredible Hulk."
"Iron Man 3" has yet to eclipse the $821.7 million gross for "Spider-Man," the $783.7 million gross for "Spider-Man 2,"' and the 890.8 million gross for "Spider-Man 3," or the $752.2 million gross for "The Amazing Spider-Man." But it is within striking distance of those films. They were co-productions, with Sony Pictures doing the heavy-lifting. It has already out-grossed all of the X-Men films, based on the mutant characters that Marvel licensed to 20th Century Fox.
"Iron Man 3" isn't a blockbuster, it's an uber-blockbuster on the order of "The Avengers," which is the only Marvel production that "Iron Man 3" can't keep pace with. Even though foreign audiences are embracing Tony Stark with greater intensity than they have for his earlier solo adventures, it is unlikely the film will match the $1.5 billion made by "The Avengers."
Here's a look at how "Iron Man 3" stacks up in the history of domestic openings, courtesy of Box Office Mojo. Guess who comes out on top?
Top 5 Biggest Domestic Openings
1. ) "The Avengers" $207.4 million
2. ) "Iron Man 3" $175.3 million
3. ) "Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part 2" $169.1 million
4. ) "The Dark Knight Rises" $160.8 million
5. ) "The Dark Knight" $158.4 million