Grady Smith
May 04, 2013 AT 04:02 PM EDT

Tony Stark has done it again! Iron Man 3, Disney’s $200 million superhero sequel, kicked off its North American run with $68.3 million on Friday, and it’s headed for one of the best opening weekends of all time.

Iron Man 3′s opening day (which includes $15.6 million earned at Thursday night shows starting at 9 p.m.) marks the eighth biggest opening day ever at the domestic box office, slightly ahead of The Hunger Games‘ $67.3 million Friday, which yielded a $152.5 million weekend. Thanks to broader audience appeal, Iron Man 3 is expected to hold up slightly better than Hunger Games over the rest of the weekend.

Where will Iron Man 3 finish? Well, if it performs similarly to The Avengers, which earned $80.8 million on Friday and a record-breaking $207.4 million over the full debut weekend, then Iron Man 3 is headed for a $175 million debut, which would beat Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2‘s $169.2 million haul as the second-best domestic start of all time. If it doesn’t manage such a strong internal multiplier, Iron Man 3 may finish with around $160 million — still an incredible start. EW predicted a $172 million opening on Thursday.

One thing is for sure: Iron Man 3, which has already broken records overseas, will easily trounce the domestic opening weekends of its predecessors, Iron Man ($98.6 million) and Iron Man 2 ($128.1 million). Check back tomorrow to see just how marvelous the Marvel film’s debut really was. Here’s hwo the rest of the chart looked:

1. Iron Man 3 – $68.3 million

2. Pain & Gain – $2.3 million

3. 42 – $1.8 million

4. Oblivion – $1.7 million

5. The Big Wedding – $1.2 million

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Read more:

Box office preview: ‘Will ‘Iron Man 3’ reach ‘Avengers’ heights?

‘Iron Man 3’ reaches $307.7 million at international box office

‘Iron Man 3’ EW Review

‘Iron Man 3’ gets a special Chinese makeover

Kevin Feige talks ‘Iron Man 3’ and the future of Marvel

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