LOS ANGELES – Marvel Studios' "Iron Man 2" launched internationally Wednesday with No. 1 openings in six markets for a total box-office gross of $2.2 million from 960 venues.
That represented an auspicious per-screen tally of $2,292, considered an encouraging average for the territories involved. France led the way for distributor Paramount, contributing $1.6 million on a day marked by the balmiest temperatures of the year locally.
The Robert Downey Jr.-starring action adventure also unspooled in Sweden, Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands and French-speaking Switzerland, with additional territories to bow the picture over the weekend.
Paramount didn't break down first-day territorial grosses but said the opening in France was 11 percent ahead of the comparable opening figure of 2008's "Iron Man," which premiered "on the eve of a public holiday."
The original "Iron Man" grossed of $265 million internationally and $318.3 million domestically.
Beginning Thursday, Paramount debuts "Iron Man 2" in 55 overseas markets, including such heavyweight territories as the United Kingdom, Australia, Korea, Russia, Germany, Brazil, Italy, Mexico, Spain and Hong Kong.
Paramount rushed "Iron Man 2" into the foreign market a week before the film's May 7 domestic bow to provide the movie longer theatrical play before the monthlong World Cup begins in South Africa on June 11. The most widely watched sports event in the world, the soccer tournament draws a huge male viewership, a key demographic group for the "Iron Man" sequel and many other summer releases.
Paramount, which handled the original "Iron Man," is distributing the movie, but the sequel represents the first Marvel theatrical release since Disney acquired the company.