`Iron Man 3` rules International box office with $195.3m weekend earnings

Washington: `Iron Man 3` got off to a massive start internationally this weekend, as it opened in most countries outside the US and grossed 195.3 million dollars through Sunday, according to Walt Disney studio reports.

The Marvel Studios superhero sequel starring Robert Downey Jr. got a head-start on its domestic launch next Friday with its release in 42 overseas markets.

That topped the 185.1 million-dollar start for Marvel`s `The Avengers,` which opened in 39 markets over the same weekend last year a week ahead of its record-breaking domestic debut of 207.4 million dollars, Fox News reported.

"You don`t know that you could ever repeat the kind of experience we had a year ago, and here the Marvel team brought together another incredible movie," Dave Hollis, head of distribution for Disney said.

That pattern could continue as Hollywood opens its summer season domestically this coming weekend.

Despite a huge haul expected for ` Iron Man 3,` the film will be competing against that gigantic start over the same weekend last year for `The Avengers`, the only movie to open with more than 200 million dollars domestically.