Disney and Marvel Studios' Iron Man 3 will become one of the few Hollywood films to debut simultaneously in North America and China. The superhero tentpole rolls out in both markets on May 3.
The last film to secure a day-and-date release in the two markets was the independently financed Looper, which debuted in China and the U.S. on Sept. 28, 2012.
Both Iron Man 3 and Looper were made in part with Chinese money, and each contain scenes tailor-made for Chinese audiences.
Iron Man 3 is a joint production of the Disney-owned Marvel Pictures and Beijing-based DMG Entertainment. Robert Downey Jr., returning in the title role, will attend the Beijing premiere of the film on April 6.
All versions of the film will feature scenes shot in Beijing, product placement for Chinese electronics manufacturer TCL and co-star Wang Xueqi, but a version cut for the world's most populous nation also will boast "specially prepared bonus footage" and an appearance by megastar Fan Bingbing.
Big-budget American films have proved to be major hits in China, helping to push the nation's box office to $2.7 billion in 2012. Hollywood is hoping that Iron Man 3 helps to reverse a recent downturn at the Chinese box office for U.S. films (G.I. Joe: Retaliaton is an exception, opening to a stellar $33 million last weekend).
Star Robert Downey Jr. will attend the Beijing launch of the film April 6.