'Iron Man 2' opens strong around the world

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The Independent Culture

In 52 of the 53 markets around the world, Iron Man 2 was the No. 1 film at the box office this past weekend. The sequel to the Marvel Comics success of 2008, kicked off the summer blockbuster season.

From Europe and the Middle East to Asia, Australia and Latin America, Iron Man 2 pulled in $100.2 million.

The much anticipated sequel stars Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson, Mickey Rourke, and Samuel L. Jackson. It is again directed by Jon Favreau.

It performed better than the original Iron Man in most places, opening higher in the UK by 49 percent, 79 percent stronger in South Korea, and in Russia it had 89 percent more audiences over the first installment. It also broke IMAX records for a 2D movie.

The film studio opened Iron Man 2 overseas earlier than the US to get a big jump on the month-long World Cup starting June 11.

This coming weekend the movie opens in North America, China, India, Turkey, and Germany. On June 11 it is released in Japan.