"Iron Man 3" shattered China's box-office record for midnight shows on Wednesday, taking in a reported $2.1 million from approximately 2,500 screenings.
That tops the mark set by "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," which made $1.9 million in its late-night debut back in 2011, according to BoxOffice.com. That's a good sign for Disney's Marvel superhero sequel, as "Transformers" went on to rake in $145 million during its entire China run. "The Avengers" brought in about $91 million last year.
China, the world's No. 2 movie market, is the centerpiece of Disney's foreign campaign and will have a lot to do with whether "Iron Man 3" will reach $1 billion in worldwide grosses. It has taken in more than $240 million overseas since its foreign rollout a week ago and posting a $195 million first weekend abroad, bigger than "The Avengers."
It debuts on Wednesday in Germany and on Friday in the U.S.
Disney's Marvel superhero saga was in about 1,100 theaters and sold more than 300,000 tickets for China's DMG Entertainment, which helped finance the film and is distributing in that country.
Anecdotal reports offered the first impressions of the specially tailored Chinese version of the film, designed to play to audiences there.
There is about three minutes of footage in Mandarin, shown without English subtitles. Chinese star Fan BingBing's cameo appearance went over well, but several blatant placements of Chinese products drew hoots in at least one theater.