Disney is reporting that Iron Man 3 opened with a strong $68.312 million on Friday, including $15.6 million from Thursday night previews (9pm onward). That marks a 30 percent increase over the $52.4 million opening day of Iron Man 2 three years ago, while sitting about 14 percent below the first day take of The Avengers (a record $80.8 million). Note that neither of those those films opened wide before midnight, while Iron Man 2 also wasn't released in 3D.
All-time, this gives Iron Man 3 the seventh best opening day behind The Twilight Saga: Eclipse's $68.5 million and ahead of The Hunger Games' $67.3 million. The relatively unknown nature of Thursday's 9pm shows could skew historical opening day-to-weekend ratios, but for now, we're projecting a $169 million debut weekend.
In holdover news, Pain and Gain dropped 69 percent from last Friday to $2.35 million yesterday. With a $28.7 million domestic haul after eight days, the film is on track for a $7.2 million sophomore frame.
Universal's Oblivion sank 67 percent from last Friday to $1.7 million yesterday. Competition from and the loss of IMAX screens to this weekend's big competition played a major role in the decline. Through 15 days of release, Oblivion has tallied $76 million domestically. BoxOffice is projecting a $5.8 million weekend.
Meanwhile, Warner Bros.' 42 was less fazed and dropped just 39 percent Friday-to-Friday. With another $1.79 million in the bank yesterday, 42 has amassed an impressive $73.9 million haul in 22 days. The film is on pace for a $6.3 million frame.
Lastly, The Big Wedding dropped 54 percent from opening day to $1.2 million on Friday. We're projecting a $3.9 million weekend.
Additional reporting by Daniel Garris