Iron Man 3 hits $1 billion

Ben Arnold
Yahoo UK Movies News

'Iron Man 3' has passed the $1 billion (£656 million) mark at the worldwide box office.

The Marvel Studios sequel is now the second most successful superhero film of all time, lagging just behind fellow Marvel record-breaker 'Avengers Assemble', and beating the Dark Knight.

Robert Downey Jr's Tony Stark has helped propel the film to takings of $300 million in the USA, and a colossal $700 million abroad.

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Part of the film's success overseas appears to have been the decision to make a special edit for the Chinese market, with additional footage of places of local interest and appearances from Chinese superstars including Fan Bingbing.

As a result, the film had the country's biggest ever opening day, and has now made $102 million in China alone, the film's biggest-grossing foreign territory.

The film also did extremely well in South Korea, the UK, Mexico and Russia.

'Avengers Assemble' still leads the pack, however, making the $1 billion mark in 19 days as opposed to 24 days for 'Iron Man 3'.

It says much about the current proliferation of Disney in the worldwide marketplace.

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The Mouse House, which bought Marvel for what now seems like the bargain price of $4 billion in 2009, has six films which have breached the $1 billion barrier – 'Iron Man 3', 'Avengers Assemble', Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest', 'Toy Story 3', 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' and 'Alice In Wonderland'.

The most films any other studio has to have made the figure is two.