Box Office Results: Man of Steel Sets New June Opening Records


The Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films and then check back on Monday for the final figures based on actual box office.

Without any doubt, the big news at the box office this weekend was the release of Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. Co-produced by The Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan and starring Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Russell Crowe and Laurence Fishburne, the movie brought in $9 million in midnight screenings on Thursday and an additional $12 million from a special 7pm screening with tickets sold exclusively through Walmart. While most studios would just incorporate that $12 million into Friday, the weekend and be done with it, for whatever reason that number is being kept separate, throwing off comparisons to other June openers slightly.

On Friday, the Superman reboot added another $44 million (including the $9 million portion of pre-screenings), making it the largest Friday opening for a June release, slightly besting 2010’s Toy Story 3 and 2004’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – Michael Bay’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen opened on a Wednesday in June 2009.

It went on to gross an estimated $125 for the weekend domestically including all those pre-screenings, which was more than enough to set a June opening record, putting it well ahead of Toy Story 3‘s $110 million from three years back. With Father’s Day on Sunday, there’s a good chance that number could be even higher unless Warner Bros. overestimated slightly to compensate for what should be a strong Father’s Day choice.

Internationally, Man of Steel bucked the summer trend of opening in other countries before North America, instead doing day-and-date in 24 overseas markets including the UK, Korea and Mexico where it grossed an estimated $71.6 million over the weekend on 9,710 screens. It opened #1 in all those countries including the UK where it dominated the market with $17.1 million or 75% of the country’s total box office. Mexico did similar business with $9.8 million, while in Korea it took 50% of the market share with $8.8 million. Its worldwide total so far is $196.7 million.

The IMAX Corporation also saw June records broken with Man of Steel playing on 331 domestic IMAX screens where it brought in $13.3 million, as well as 79 international screens where it added another $4.2 million, for a total worldwide weekend IMAX gross of $17.5 million.

Wednesday saw the release of the directorial debut by Superbad and Pineapple Express creators Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who brought together their friends and stars from both those movies and the Judd Apatow camp, including Jonah Hill, James Franco, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Michael Cera as well as Jay Baruchel for the R-rated Apocalyptic comedy This is the End. After bringing in $12.3 million on Wednesday and Thursday, it got a nice Friday bump to $6.8 million thanks to strong word-of-mouth and ended up with an estimated $20.5 million for the weekend and $32.8 million in its first five days. Considering the relatively low $32 million budget, the movie should wind up being a profitable one for Sony.

What’s turning into the surprise sleeper hit of the summer, the magic-based ensemble heist movie Now You See Me (Summit), held a strong third place showing with $10.3 million, down just 46% from last weekend, with $80 million grossed so far.

Universal’s latest installment of their never-ending action franchise Fast & Furious 6 brought in $9.4 million in its fourth weekend to take fourth place with $219.6 million grossed so far. That puts it $10 million ahead of its predecessor Fast Five‘s total box office gross.

Universal Pictures’ surprise horror hit The Purge, produced for roughly $3 million by Blumhouse Productions, took a nasty plunge in its second weekend, dropping 76% from first place all the way down to fifth with $8.2 million, having grossed $51.8 million in just ten days. Needless to say, a sequel is already in the works.

Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson’s high concept comedy The Internship (20th Century Fox) continued to do embarrassing numbers, dropping nearly 60% in its second weekend to take sixth place (down from fourth) with $7 million and $30.8 million total, compared to its $58 million production budget.

20th Century Fox’s animated adventure Epic held up better, taking seventh place with $6 million and $95.4 million total. It’s likely to get slaughtered by the release of Disney•Pixar’s Monsters University next weekend, but it should hit $100 million for the summer, which isn’t bad for one of the lower key summer animated releases.

J.J. Abrams’ sci-fi sequel Star Trek Into Darkness took eighth place with $5.7 million, bringing its own domestic total to $210.5 million.

Will and Jaden Smith’s science fiction epic After Earth (Sony) took another plunge, down 65% to ninth place with $3.8 million and a three-week gross of $54.2 million. This movie and The Internship seem to be proving that having big name stars (and reuniting stars from previous hits) is doing very little for summer moviegoers who know exactly what they want to see… and what they don’t. Even so, the movie brought in roughly $24 million internationally from 7,665 screens bringing its worldwide gross to $145.3 million, just slightly more than its $130 million budget.

This weekend last year saw the release of two new movies, the musical Rock of Ages and Adam Sandler’s That’s My Boy, neither which cracked $15 million so it was all about returning movies Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted and Ridley Scott’s Prometheus which topped the box office with $34 million and $20.7 million, respectively. Even so, Man of Steel‘s $125 opening weekend absolutely killed the $120 million grossed by the Top 10 so the box office is on a good streak going into the actual start of summer next Friday.

Also expanding nationwide into 897 theaters was Richard Linklater’s Before Midnight (Sony Pictures Classics), reuniting him with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy for the first time in 9 years for the third installment of their trilogy that began with Before Sunrise. It grossed about $1.5 million or roughly $1,700 per theater, missing its mark at breaking into the Top 12 and once again proving Sony Pictures Classics hasn’t quite gotten a handle on nationwide expansions despite the success of Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris a few years back. It has grossed roughly $3.2 million to date despite glowing reviews going back to the Sundance Film Festival.

Opening in limited release in New York and Los Angeles, Sofia Coppola’s new movie The Bling Ring (A24), based on a true story and starring Emma Watson, Leslie Mann, Taissa Farmiga, Claire Julien, Katie Chang and Gavin Rossdale, brought in $210 thousand in 5 theaters or $42 thousand per site with plans to expand nationwide next Friday, June 21.

Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films.