Excitement for "Iron Man 3" has reached a fever pitch, and industry experts expect that to translate into explosive box office numbers.

Early tracking numbers released Thursday morning estimate that the superhero sequel will make more than $125 million on its opening weekend, with the film bowing on May 3. That estimation would put "Iron Man 3" on track to beat the record previously set by "Iron Man 2" for the biggest domestic opening for a non-holiday three-day weekend.

Deadline reports that overall awareness of the film is high, tracking even higher than "The Avengers," which went on to have the largest North American opening weekend ever with $207 million. That awareness can be credited to Disney's marketing campaign -- its first for the "Iron Man" franchise since taking over the rights to Marvel -- which has seen series star Robert Downey Jr. on a worldwide press tour, and cross-promotion across Disney TV networks and parks.

Such a huge opening weekend would be good news for Disney, which just confirmed that it's laying off 150 people -- most likely, analysts say, because of its huge recent acquisitions of Marvel and Lucasfilm. Here's hoping "Iron Man 3" lives up to these super expectations.

[via Deadline]

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CATEGORIES Movies