Anyone who was following Iron Man 3's insane grosses overseas could pretty easily predict it would have a big American opening, and the superhero threequel has lived up to most expectations. According to the early numbers at The Hollywood Reporter Iron Man 3 opened to $68.3 million on Friday, putting it on track for the $165-$170 million weekend that many insiders had predicted. It's very close to knocking Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 off its perch as the second-biggest opening weekend ever, but it won't be able to come near The Avengers's record-breaking tally.

It was hard to expect Iron Man 3 to be able to best The Avengers-- how can one superhero compete against a team-up of 7?-- but it's actually pulling it off overseas. THR says that it continues to be ahead of The Avengers when you count the worldwide grosses, which now stand at $456.6 million. The Avengers topped out at $1.5 billion last year, and with audiences responding well to Iron Man 3, it at least stands a chance of getting near that. North American audiences give it an A CinemaScore, which means word of mouth will keep it going even when newer blockbusters take over screens in the coming weeks.

As you've probably read by now, we love Iron Man 3 a lot around here, and we're discussing the film with spoilers, talking about why it's a a perfect Shane Black movie and wondering if we'll ever get an Iron Man 4 throughout the weekend. Come back tomorrow for a full box office report, and let us know in the comments how you've been enjoying your surely packed screenings of Iron Man 3.

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