As it turns out, the answer is “neither” — because Bay’s Pain & Gain was the only one that opened in North America, topping the domestic box-office with a decent but unexceptional $20 million, knocking Tom Cruise’s futurepocalyptic Oblivion into second place with $17.2 million.
But Iron Man Three opened wide internationally, which is where the real money is, and Shane Black’s first turn at the franchise grossed a stunning $195 million in three days, sending expectations for next week’s North American opening into the stratosphere and nicely answering the question of how the Marvel’s solo projects will fare in the post-Avengers era.
The answer? They’re gonna do just fine — as long as they’re Iron Man movies. Ah, who am I kidding? Thor and Cap can totally take care of themselves too.