Try as some joyless jerk on the A.V. Club payroll did to steer audiences elsewhere, Americans turned out in droves to see Iron Man 3, the first entry in Marvel's "Phase Two" blockbuster assembly line. Shane Black's sequel made a cool $175 million over the weekend, rocketing into second place on the all-time openings chart, just below (wait for it) last summer's The Avengers. This bodes pretty well for November's Thor: The Dark World and next April's Captain America: The Winter Soldier, as well as 2015's 2 Avengers 2 Furious, and such inevitable Marvel "Phase Three" titles as Cloak And Dagger, Bucky: The First Sidekick, and Mojo Presents The X-Babies.
In a very distant second place—like, so distant you would need a Tesseract to close the gap between them—Pain & Gain scrounged up $7.6 million, presumably from folks who forgot to buy their Iron Man 3 tickets on Fandango, but already paid the babysitter, and bought their popcorn, so goddammit they're gonna see something. Other because-Iron-Man-was-sold-out "winners" include 42 ($6.2 million), Oblivion ($5.7 million), and that lousy animated movie that's like Ice Age but with cavemen instead of animals ($4.2 million). And lest one think Iron Man 3 was the only new film in release, the life-of-a-hitman flick The Iceman—featuring Captain America himself, Chris Evans—made $93,100 on four screens. Maybe they should have sold it as an Avengers spinoff. There's a superhero named Iceman, right?
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.