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It was pretty unlikely that theater chains were going to stand their ground and refuse to sell tickets to Iron Man 3, even though they were threatening to do just that last week, as part of a contract dispute with Disney. They haven't made it clear exactly what they were arguing over-- I mean, it was money, but what kind of money was unclear-- but whatever it was, they've patched it up. The Hollywood Reporter writes that AMC Entertainment, Cinemark and Regal have all reached an agreement with the studio, leaving room for all three enormous theater chains to show the tentpole when it opens next Friday.

Iron Man 3-- which we totally loved, by the way-- will be one of those tentpoles that opens everywhere you can imagine, and is already in the process of setting box office records overseas, opening bigger than The Avengers in Taiwan, The Phillippines and in France. The tracking numbers cited by THR suggest it could make between $135 and $145 million in its North American debut, which would be well ahead of the $128 million Iron Man 2 made in 2010. To say at this point that people are excited for a new Marvel superhero movie is kind of redundant, but Iron Man 3 does seem to have something special going for it, especially with some critics calling it the best Marvel movie yet-- yes, Avengers included.

We'll be inundating you with Iron Man 3 coverage next week as the rest of the team catches up with the film, but in the meanwhile, watch the latest trailer and thank your local corporate behemoth multiplex for bringing it to you next Friday.