As expected, Marvel Studios’ Iron Man 3 is kicking off the summer in a big way with Disney reporting that the 9pm Thursday night previews and midnight screenings for the threequel brought in an estimated $15.6 million.
Last year, Marvel’s The Avengers grossed $18.7 million in its midnight showings on its way to setting a new opening weekend record of $207.4 million, but Iron Man 3 made that amount including 9pm showings so it’s probably not going to make a play for that benchmark.
For further comparison, The Hunger Games brought in $19.7 million in midnights while Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises made $30.6 million in midnights, neither of them with earlier previews, and they went on to gross $152.5 and $160.9 million respectively. One big difference with The Dark Knight Rises that helped to boost that midnight number is that it opened in the middle of summer when school was out and more people could go out to see the very first screenings.
We’ll have to see how Friday pans out to determine whether Iron Man 3 will rank among some of the movies mentioned above in the $150 to 160 million range or ends up closer to the $128 million of Iron Man 2.
Check back later this weekend for updated box office and check back Sunday for our full Box Office Report.