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Ever since the Avengers beat back an invading army of villainous aliens, fans have been clamoring for more big-screen Marvel action. And now, after a year of highly analyzed trailers and heavily scrutinized plot points, "Iron Man 3" has landed in theaters to thunderous applause.
"It was awesome. It was funny. It was the bomb," fan Arleny Valle told MTV News, summing up the general sentiments about the film from critics and moviegoers. But the film's real success comes from its ability to deftly mix gut-busting humor and gut-wrenching emotion.
"It was a more personal story, maybe, than the last one," said Paul Grossinger. Fellow moviegoer Manuel Santiago echoed this, saying, "[Tony Stark] found himself in this movie. He found out who he was and what he was capable of doing."
For the seventh film entry in the immensely successful Marvel Cinematic Universe, it would have been easy for director Shane Black and screenwriter Drew Pearce to burrow deeper into the universe, filling the film with deep references for only the comic book elite. But that's not the case with "Iron Man 3," said Fareeda Bullert.
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"I really loved it. I saw it with a bunch of comic book fans, and I'm not really like that, but I thought it was very funny."
But where does "Iron Man 3" rank within the "Iron Man" trilogy? Aidan Shepard singled the film out as the best one, while Yanil Rosario still carries a torch for the first film.
"The first one was the best, because it was more emotional. It was surprising"
Fans across the country rushed to theaters Thursday night to see Tony Stark's latest adventure. The film's already grossed over $300 million overseas, shattering records in such countries as China and Taiwan. Experts are putting it on track to pull in over $150 million domestically this weekend and, judging by the reaction that a select few moviegoers had, that seems like an underestimate. To put it succinctly, people love "Iron Man 3."