"Iron Man 3" is off to a strong start at the North American box office, taking in $15.6 million on Thursday night, according to data from Hollywood.com.
That gives the superhero sequel from Walt Disney Studios and Marvel Studios the 14th-best midnight gross of all time.
Robert Downey Jr. stars as the titular character in the film, which could gross more than $170 million in its first three days.
Last year, "The Avengers," which also starred Downey's Iron Man character, along with other superheroes, opened to a midnight gross of $18.7 million, good for 10th best, according to Hollywood.com. That film had a record opening weekend domestic gross of $207.4 million. It opened with $185.1 million abroad.
In advance of its domestic opening, "Iron Man 3" did very well last weekend overseas. The film premiered at No. 1 in 42 countries, has a current global box office total of $361 million, and has set opening day records in Russia and Ukraine.