Box-Office Oracle: ‘Superman Returns’


I’m pleased to present a rare midweek Oracle experience for the Wednesday and Thursday results for Superman Returns. Read on and I hope you’ll learn something (such as how much of a crapshoot Oracling is).

How much will Superman Returns make on Wednesday and Thursday?

Questions like this keep the Oracle up at night so I started asking the fundamental questions that go behind an accurate prognostication. Let’s take the journey together.

1. What have other big Wednesday openings grossed?

Well, Spidey 2 opened at $44.2m and Star Wars Episode 1 at $28.5m. The final in the Lord of the Rings trilogy grossed a healthy $34.4m on an opening Wednesday. I think Superman Returns is closest to Star Wars in pedigree (a long time between past films) but closer to Lord of The Rings in running time (2h 34m!). Of course it’s a superhero movie so it compares to Spidey too. Not a lot of help from this query.

2. Does Supe have star power?

Neither Bosworth nor Routh put butts in the seats. Spacey is well known but has never been a huge draw. By comparison by the time Spidey 2 came around Tobey Maguire was a draw. So let’s say this is one strike against Superman.

3. How much does the long running time hurt?

Quite a bit in this case. Instead of seven possible screening times the theaters are looking at five or six. And, as most people don’t have Wednesday or Thursday off there are only two show times people can hit after work in most cities.

4. Does Supe have buzz?

Yes. You can’t swing a cat without hitting a Superman ad. Also the reviews have been largely positive which will help.

5. Does word of mouth affect Thursday?

I don’t think so; word of mouth is slower than that. However you’ve got to think the huge fans are going Wednesday while the more average Joe might catch it Thursday.

At the end of the day this one is a real drag to project but I’m going out like this.

Wednesday: $27.6m
Thursday: $18.0m

Chances are I’ll be way off base and Superman Returns will blow everything in site out of the water. But you’ve got to ask yourself, do you really want to see this more than any of the other big Wednesday openings? I’m betting no. Let it be written let it be done. See you for the weekend Oracle.

Box Office

Weekend: Nov. 15, 2018, Nov. 18, 2018

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