'Iron Man 3' makes $15 million-plus on opening night

iron-man-3-thursday-box-office.jpgThe opening night for "Iron Man 3" was a pretty big one at the box office.

The Marvel movie raked in an estimated $15.6 million in late-night showings Thursday (May 2), ahead of its official-official opening Friday. It's expected to make somewhere in the $150 million neighborhood by the close of its first weekend.

The Thursday-night haul for "Iron Man 3" is well ahead of the $7.5 million "Iron Man 2" made in midnight showings three years ago but a little behind the $18.7 million "The Avengers" took in last year. ("Iron Man 2" made $128 million in its first weekend, while "The Avengers" set an all-time record of $207.4 million.)

The new movie, which features Tony Stark ( Robert Downey Jr.) facing off against The Mandarin ( Ben Kingsley), has already made more than $345 million overseas, topping the total for each of the first two "Iron Man" movies.

Are you seeing "Iron Man 3" this weekend?


RELATED: Enter to win up to $150 Fandango Bucks in Zap2it's Summer of Action Sweepstakes
Photo/Video credit: Marvel/Paramount