"Iron Man 3" grabs $21.5M in China opening day

Iron Man 3

Iron Man has outgunned the entire Avengers crew in China.

According to distributor Disney, Robert Downey Jr.'s solo sequel "Iron Man 3" had a record opening in China with $21.5 million Thursday.

That tops the $17 million opening day for "Transformers: Dark of the Moon." It also beats the $18 million haul that "The Avengers" took in over its first two days in China last year. "Iron Man 3" also posted the biggest midnight gross of all time in China, where a special cut of the movie is playing, a result of the fact that China's DMG co-financed the tentpole.

Since it began rolling out overseas last week, "Iron Man 3" has climbed to $307.7 million worldwide. That's just a few million dollars shy of the international total "Iron Man 2" pulled in over its entire run.

Hopes are high for the film's launch in North America, where it opens Thursday night. Tracking indicates that the film will open close at up to $150 million.