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'Iron Man 2' leaves box office top 10 below original domestically, higher overseas

June 27, 2010 |  2:57 pm

IronMan2c “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 a total of $307 million in the U.S. and Canada.

The first “Iron Man” left the box office top 10 on its ninth weekend with a total of $309 million. Although the difference is tiny, it’s a remarkable swing given that "Iron Man 2" opened to $128.1 million in early May, and its predecessor opened to $98.6 million at the same time of year in 2008. Both were distributed by Paramount Pictures for Marvel, which was 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.

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

Foreign moviegoers seem to have a different view, however. The sequel's international tally is $303 million, higher than the original “Iron Man's” $267 million.

-- Ben Fritz

Photo: Gwyneth Paltrow and Robert Downey Jr. in "Iron Man 2." Credit: Francois Duhamel / Paramount Pictures.