‘Man of Steel’ Takes Flight With June Record $125 Mil Debut
It had a lot to live up to, and “Man of Steel” certainly didn’t disappoint. The Warner Bros.-Legendary Pictures superhero reboot scored a whopping $125 million Stateside debut, the biggest-ever opening in June, with an additional $71.6 million from overseas.
Warners projects that “Man of Steel” actually made $113 million from Friday to Sunday, making it the 18th largest opening of all time, behind 2007′s “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” ($114.7 million). The additional $12 million for “Man of Steel” comes from late-night grosses Thursday.
“Man of Steel” bowed day-and-date in 24 international markets this weekend, including just three major territories — the U.K., Mexico and South Korea. Blighty easily led the charge, contributing $17.1 million, while Mexico and Korea followed, with $9.8 million and $8.8 million, respectively.
Sony, meanwhile, made a savvy counterprogramming move launching R-rated raunch fest “This Is the End” on Wednesday. The film, which cost just $32 million to produce, grossed an estimated $32.8 million in five days, of which $20.5 million came Friday-Sunday.
The one-two punch from the opening pics helped Stateside box office surge past the same frame last year by approximately 50%. Box office is expected to stay strong on Sunday because of Father’s Day.
Among the weekend’s holdovers, Lionsgate-Summit’s sturdy little film “Now You See Me” grossed $10.3 million, down just 46% in its third frame, for a domestic cume of $80 million. Universal’s “Fast and Furious 6″ dropped 52% in its fourth frame, grossing $9.4 million. The pic has totaled $219.6 million domestically.
Dropping like a rock in its second outing, Universal’s “The Purge” fell 76% for a three-day estimate of $8.2 million. But the film cost just $3 million to produce and has already grossed an outstanding $51.8 million domestically.
At the specialty box office, Sony Pictures Classics’ “Before Midnight” totaled $1.5 million during its first nationwide push at 897 locations, bringing the pic’s domestic cume to $3.2 million. And Sofia Coppola’s “The Bling Ring” via A24 averaged a solid $42,000 per-screen in its debut frame at five theaters.
As far as franchise reboots go, “Man of Steel,” which received an ‘A-’ CinemaScore, ranks as one of the best, especially compared to other superhero pics like “Batman Begins,” which opened to $48.7 million this same weekend in 2005, and “Superman Returns,” with its $52.5 million opening a year later.
Observers suggest Warners played its cards just right with “Man of Steel,” allowing the film’s marketing campaign to build slowly leading up to opening weekend. “This is as a well-paced and executed campaign as I’ve seen in a long time,” said one exhibition exec.
In fact, first-choice levels among audiences were at their highest on Friday, a rare achievement for major tentpoles like “Steel,” which usually peak a week before the actual release.
The question now is whether the $225 million-budgeted “Man of Steel” can keep the momentum going.
Dan Fellman, prexy of domestic distribution for Warners, said he expects the film to soar past $300 million domestically with students on summer break.