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Disney film 'Iron Man 3' hottest ticket of 2013: Rentrak

Cast member Robert Downey Jr. waves next to co-star Gwyneth Paltrow at the premiere of "Iron Man 3" at El Capitan theatre in Hollywood, Cali
Cast member Robert Downey Jr. waves next to co-star Gwyneth Paltrow at the premiere of "Iron Man 3" at El Capitan theatre in Hollywood, Cali

(Reuters) - Walt Disney's film "Iron Man 3" was the hottest film of 2013, with ticket sales of $409 million in the North American market, one of four Disney films among the year's top-selling movies, according to Rentrak.

"Iron Man 3," which stars Robert Downey Jr. as industrialist Tony Stark and his alter ego inside the super-charged metal suit, finished just ahead of Lions Gate Entertainment's dystopian action film "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," which had ticket sales of $398.4 million, the entertainment research service said.

Comcast's Universal Pictures animated film "Despicable Me 2" was third with $367.8 million. "Man of Steel" from Time Warner's studio Warner Brothers was fourth with $291 million.

Warner Brothers, whose film "Gravity" also placed in the top 10, ended the year with 17 percent of the year's record $10.9 billion in ticket sales, tops among Hollywood studios and ahead of Disney's 15.7 percent, according to Rentrak.

Disney's animated films "Frozen" and "Monsters University" and its fantasy film "Oz the Great and Powerful" were also among the year's top 10 best-selling movies.

The media giant's films came during the first full year of Disney CEO Bob Iger's strategy of investing in films with hefty budgets that Disney can turn into "brands" that bring in box office receipts, spawn movie sequels, drive toy sales and inspire theme-park rides. "Iron Man 3" was made for $200 million, according to the film website Box Office Mojo.

The North American market includes theaters in the United States and Canada.

(Reporting by Ronald Grover; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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