SUNDAY PM/MONDAY AM 12TH UPDATE: Sunday matinees were running on par with Saturdays which is highly unusual. But apparently Father’s Day and Man Of Steel “make a great combo. Best Father’s Day combo of all time”, said Warner Bros Pictures President, Domestic Distribution, Dan Fellman. “Amazing result for Sunday. No drop from Saturday”! With $36.3M on Sunday, Warner Bros’ and Legendary Pictures’ tentpole has new totals: $116.7M for the three-weekend and a four-day cume of $128.7M.
SUNDAY AM, 10TH UPDATE (includes international): Warner Bros’ and Legendary Pictures’ Man Of Steel (4,207 theaters with 3D in 3,357 venues) grossed $44M in North America on Friday (including the $9M from midnights) and -18% for $36.3M Saturday (excluding those $12M from Thursday 7 PM Wal-Mart shows). Pic was light on all-time records. But, even with a longish running time of two hours and 23 minutes, the Chris Nolan-Zack Snyder-David S. Goyer-Henry Cavill PG-13 tentpole set a new June best-ever opening weekend record. It was the 2nd best debut of 2013 behind only Disney/Marvel’s Iron Man 3 (which is on the verge of crossing $400M domestic). Internationally, Warner Bros says Man Of Steel ranked #1 everywhere with a gross of $71.6M from 9,710 screens in the 24 overseas markets in release. That made for a speeding worldwide cume of $196.7M in its first 4 days.
“In North America, Superman audiences thumbed their noses at the negative reviews from film critics and gave it an ‘A-’ CinemaScore. Man Of Steel beat all expectations,” a Warner Bros executive tells me. “Interesting note that Superman’s Saturday gross is double the next ranking Top 4 films added together. That’s really dominating the marketplace.” Sunday is projected at $32.7M. Estimates now for the 3-day weekend are $113M and the 4-day opening cume is $125.1M including Thursday. As for Sunday, “always an upside to consider with a huge Father’s Day result,” Warner Bros President, Domestic Distribution, Dan Fellman tells me. Saturday’s number followed very strong matinees — the same as opening day at $15.5M. Sunday also will bring an updated international figure which currently stands at $25.9M. Playing on 331 domestic IMAX screens, Man Of Steel delivered $13.3M, a record opening for a June release and was 12% of the weekend take. “Our CinemaScore of ‘A-’ with the youngest (under 18) and the oldest (over 50) age categories both rating the film an ‘A’ should certainly generate strong word of mouth as we continue our run in the heart of the lucrative summer play time,” Fellman noted. The 3D screens generated 42% of Man Of Steel‘s box office revenue and 32% of all admissions for 6.250M for Friday. The Man Of Steel results helped total moviegoing this Friday increase +78% over last year’s box office. Pic packed a strong opening punch because of the 3D premium and immense wannasee sparked by masterful marketing. It took Nolan’s involvement to make Superman cool again (finally).
Internationally, Man Of Steel took 12.2M admissions. Key markets that opened this weekend were the UK, Korea, and Mexico. The UK pulled in £11M ($17.1M) from 574 situations, dominating the market with a 75% share of the Top 5 and ranking as the biggest opening day in 2013 — +11% bigger even than Iron Man 3. But the pic just narrowly missed beating IM3 for the weekend. Mexico grossed an estimated Ps. 126M ($9.8M) from 2,600 screens, and garnered a 70% share of the market. Its opening weekend ranked as the 3rd biggest for a WB film. Korea opened to hefty KRW 9.9M ($8.8M) from 990 screens taking 72% of the Seoul Top 5. Other notable cumes are The Philippines $5.6M which was 3rd biggest all-time industry opening despite monsoon conditions), India $3.5M, Taiwan $1.5M (had biggest WB opening day ever), UAE $2.0M, Malaysia $3.0M. Pic still has 27 more markets opening next weekend, including the major countries France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Russia and China. Australia opens on June 27, Brazil July 12, and Japan August 30.
Meanwhile, counter-programming the Man Of Steel juggernaut this weekend was Sony/Columbia Pictures’ raunchy apocalyptic comedy This Is The End (3,055 theaters). It received a ‘B+’ CinemaScore from audiences and 82% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and a #1 reception Wednesday. With a dearth of both ‘R’-rated movies or well-received laughers in the marketplace, pic made $6.8M on Friday and $7.4M on Saturday for a projected $20.5M for the 3-day weekend, and $32.8M for the 5-day cume – about what it cost. Exits show the opening drew audiences that were 60% male and 48% under age 25.Read more here.
Total moviegoing for this weekend was $196M, up +50% from last year as Summer 2013 continues to sizzle. Here’s the rest of the Top Ten based on weekend estimates:
3. Now You See Me (Summit/Lionsgate) Week 3 [Runs 3,082] PG13
Friday $3.3M, Saturday $3.9M, Weekend $10.3M, Cume $80.0M
International Cume $27.7M, Worldwide Total $107.7M
4. Fast & Furious 6 (Universal) Week 4 [Runs 3,375 PG13
Friday $2.8M, Saturday $3.5M, Weekend $9.4M, Cume $219.5M
International Cume $417.4M, Worldwide Total $636.9M
5. The Purge (Universal) Week 2 [Runs 2,591] R
Friday $2.9M, Saturday $3.1M, Weekend $8.2M (-76%), Cume $51.8M
International Cume $6.7M, Worldwide Total $58.5M
6. The Internship (New Regency/Fox) Week 2 [Runs 3,399]
Friday $2.3M, Saturday $2.7M, Weekend $7.0M (-59%), Cume $30.9M
International Cume $5.1M, Worldwide Total $36.0M
7. Epic (Blue Sky/Fox) Week 4 [Runs 3,151] PG
Friday $1.8M, Saturday $2.1M, Weekend $6.0M, Cume $95.4M
International Cume $119.1M, Worldwide Total $214.5M
8. Star Trek Into Darkness (Paramount) Week 5 [Runs 2,331] PG13
Friday $1.4M, Saturday $2.1M, Weekend $5.6M, Cume $210.4M
International Cume $201.7M, Worldwide Total $412.1M
9. After Earth (Columbia/Sony) Week 3 [Runs 2,432] PG13
Friday $1.1M, Saturday $1.3M, Weekend $3.7M, Cume $54.2M
International Cume $91.1M, Worldwide Total $145.3M
10. Iron Man 3 (Marvel/Disney) Week 7 [Runs 1,649] PG13
Friday $736K, Saturday $1.0M, Weekend $2.9M, Cume $399.6M
International Cume $803.8M, Worldwide Total $1.2B
FRIDAY 11:30 PM, 3RD & 4TH UPDATEs: Superman audiences have just thumbed their noses at the new movie’s critics and given it an ‘A-’ CinemaScore. That will further help word of mouth as it’s already setting records for the biggest opening for June and the second biggest weekend opening of 2013. Warner Bros’ and Legendary Pictures’ Man Of Steel (4,207 theaters with 3D in 3,357 venues) opened Thursday and is flying high at the domestic box office today on its way into the weekend. My sources have now refined their estimates to $46M Friday including that $9M in midnight shows (though some think the number could get as high as $50M). That makes for $120M for the three-day weekend, and $132M for the four-day cume including that $12M from Thursday 7 PM Wal-Mart shows.
FRIDAY 1 PM, 2ND UPDATE: “We are having a big day!” a Warner Bros exec just gushed to me. “Movie’s working!” exulted another exec at the studio. No official numbers yet. But my sources say that, based on matinee trends, Man Of Steel (4,207 theaters with 3D in 3,357 venues) is looking like $42.5M to $47.5M today, plus however the studio accounts for the $9M from Friday midnights and the $12M of Wal-Mart sales screenings from Thursday 7 PM shows. My sources have 3-day weekend estimates ranging from $114M to $120M with 4-day cumes ranging from $126M to $132M. “It’s way behind Iron Man 3 but way ahead of Superman Returns,” a rival studio exec tells me. (Iron Man 3 kicked off Summer 2013 with a $174.1M opening weekend which ranked 2nd all-time behind last year’s The Avengers with $207.4M) That wildly overperforms Man Of Steel‘s pre-release tracking which has ranged from Warner Bros’ lowball $80sM aimed a managing expectations to rival studio projections around $95M-$100M.
FRIDAY 7 AM UPDATE: Not even torrential downpours in NYC could dampen enthusiastic crowds forming long lines for Thursday late shows. Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures just announced its hotly anticipated Man Of Steel opened with a midnight show of $9 million. Combined with $12M from a corporate group sale screening program at 7 PM, this third Superman franchise begins its North American run with a cume of $21M. “Off to a flying start!!!” A studio exec gushed to me just now. The number ranks 7th among late show records, behind only the Harry Potter and Twilight franchises, but ahead of The Hunger Games. It’s also the all-time highest superhero late show record, surpassing The Avengers’ remarkable $18.7M and The Dark Knight‘s $18.5M. The more equal comparison would be June 2005′s Batman Begins which was the first of the trilogy and grossed $1.6M at midnight while June 2006′s Superman Returns reboot made $4.9M and July 2012′s The Amazing Spider-Man redo earned $7.5M. Of course, any such record must come with an asterisk because Hollywood studios recently have interpreted ‘midnights’ as beginning at 7 PM Thursday through midnight and sometimes into early dawn. So that prevents any accurate movie-to-movie direct comparison of late show grosses. IMAX hauled in $1.6M domestic from Man Of Steel late shows from 327 North American locations.
This third Superman franchise goes wide today in a whopping 4,207 locations which is the 2nd widest release ever for a non-sequel: 850 are 2D only, and the remaining venues will play in 3D with a 2D component. Tracking has ranged from Warner Bros’ lowball $80sM aimed a managing expectations to rival studio projections around $95M-$100M. According to both Fandango and MovieTickets.com, domestic advance ticket sales accounted for over 85% of total daily transactions Thursday and today. (“That percentage would have been higher if it weren’t for This Is The End doing 7% of sales today,” says Fandango’s Harry Medved.) It’s almost guaranteed to set a new opening weekend record for the month of June. Superman’s last big screen outing was Superman Returns with a very mediocre five-day opening of $84.6M that stopped Warner Bros from ordering up a sequel. But it scored higher positive reviews of 75% on Rotten Tomatoes than Man Of Steel‘s surprisingly middling 58% seven years later. Then again, this is a critics-proof pic after it took Christopher Nolan’s involvement to make Superman cool again (finally) even though it’s a feel-good movie where the man of steel must save the day against Michael Shannon’s villainous General Zod. And the studio’s masterful marketing campaign filled with mystery (that first teaser barely featured the Metropolis Marvel) really caught the imagination of anyone ever enamored of one of the most popular DC Comics characters ever.
Overseas, my sources tell me records are already breaking around from Asia though Korea (see poster) hasn’t reported grosses yet. Taiwan opened on Wednesday and Man Of Steel grossed a huge NT$23,773,310 ($794,742) nationwide for the all-time highest opening day for any Warner Bros film and the buggest opening day for Chris Nolan. The Philippines opened the film on its Independence Day, also Wednesday, to record results. The film became the biggest opening day ever with P69,284,858 ($1,657,532) comprising 347,626 admissions from 466 screens nationwide. That made Man Of Steel #1 with over 90% market share. In all, Superman is opening in 24 international markets day and date with North America, including 3 Top Ten countries: UK, Korea, and Mexico. Warner Bros will launch an additional 26 markets on the second weekend, including China, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and Spain. Ultimately, the film will be on more than 21,000 screens abroad.
Meanwhile, Fandango surveyed more than 1,000 Man Of Steel ticket-buyers and found that 88% are fans of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight franchise, 83% said the supporting cast of Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, and Michael Shannon increased their interest in seeing the movie, 81% claimed the darker interpretation of Superman made them more interested in buying a ticket, 75% cannot wait to see the villain General Zod, 72% are fans of director Zack Snyder’s previous films (300, Watchmen), 69% want to see the lead played by Henry Cavill and not by an established box office superstar. Much more to come all weekend.