Nicole Sperling
May 07, 2010 AT 05:07 PM EDT

More than 2,500 locations started screening Iron Man 2 at 12:01 this morning, earning Paramount Pictures $7.5 million for the highly anticipated sequel. While strong, the numbers are about $11 million less than The Dark Knight’s midnight shows from summer 2008. (The Dark Knight grossed $18.4 million in 3,000 theaters.) The Robert Downey Jr.-starrer is still likely to earn north of $140 million for the three-day frame and could even hit $150 million. It’s possible Iron Man 2 can surpass the $158 million that Dark Knight racked up its opening weekend, but the midnight-show gross indicates that may be a struggle. Check back tomorrow for an updated report.

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