Update, 5/13: Following its second weekend at the top of the domestic box office, Iron Man 3 is now nearing $1 billion in worldwide total gross, according to Box Office Mojo.
This past weekend, Iron Man 3 made $72.5 million (a 58.4 percent drop from the previous weekend), against solid competition from The Great Gatsby, which netted $50.1 million.
Iron Man 3's current domestic total is $284.9 million, for a $949 million combined worldwide gross. Only 15 films in history have made more than a billion dollars worldwide, and Iron Man 3 would be the second Marvel Studios film to hit the number, after 2012's Marvel's The Avengers, which ended its run at a cumulative $1.5 billion.
Update, 5/5: Iron Man 3 can now claim the second-biggest domestic opening weekend in history with a $175.3 million estimated gross, according to Box Office Mojo.
That number moves it ahead of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, which earned $169.2 million in July 2011. Fellow Marvel Studios production The Avengers, which also featured Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark in a lead role, retains the all-time top spot with a $207.4 million take over the first weekend of May last year.
The second-highest grossing film this weekend was the Michael Bay-directed Pain & Gain, making an estimated $7.6 million in its second week of release.
In 2008, the original Iron Man opened at $98.6 million; Iron Man 2 debuted to $128.1 million two years later. Iron Man 3's current worldwide total is $680.1 million.
Original story: Iron Man 3 has already broken international box office records with a $198.4 million overseas opening, and the success is continuing now that it's open domestically, with $15.6 million from Thursday night showings, according to Box Office Mojo.
The tracking site predicts this means that while Iron Man 3 had a higher international opening than Avengers, it won't beat its fellow Marvel Studios production when it comes to the highest-ever domestic opening — on the first weekend of May last year, Avengers made $207.4M, with $18.7M from midnight showings on opening night. Yet Iron Man 3 is still poised to do very well this weekend, projected to make "at least" $150M (a number only six movies have topped thus far) in 4,253 locations.
Iron Man 3's international gross is currently at $345.4M, a bigger foreign take than either of the two previous Iron Man films. Keep reading Newsarama for more Iron Man 3 box office updates.