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‘Iron Man 2' is likely to finish with lower box office gross than ‘Iron Man’

“Iron Man 2" is wrapping up its box office run in a surprising spot: behind the original “Iron Man.”

Marvel Entertainment’s superhero sequel dropped out of the box office top 10 this weekend, its eighth in theaters, and has grossed $307 million in the U.S. and Canada. “Iron Man” left the box office top 10 on its ninth weekend with $309 million.

Although the difference is tiny, it’s remarkable given that “Iron Man 2" opened to $128.1 million in early May, higher than its predecessor’s $98.6 million opening at the same time of year in 2008. Both were distributed by Paramount Pictures for Marvel, acquired by the Walt Disney Co. at the end of 2009.

“Iron Man 2" is now almost certain to end up with a final domestic gross lower than the original “Iron Man’s” $318.4 million, despite an 11% rise in average ticket prices over the last two years.

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Although more people came to see “Iron Man 2" on opening weekend, audiences apparently didn’t like the sequel as much as the original, and weaker word-of-mouth caused its ticket sales to drop faster.

Foreign moviegoers seem to have a different view, however. The original “Iron Man” sold $267 million worth of tickets overseas, but the internationally tally for the sequel is $303 million.

— Ben Fritz


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