Friday, June 14, 2013

SUPERMAN FLYING HIGH WORLDWIDE: ‘Man Of Steel’ Opens With $21M Late Shows; Begins Global Release With Asian Records (DEADLINE HOLLYWOOD)

 Editor in Chief | Friday June 14, 2013 @ 7:26am PDT

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, 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.) Still, even with a longish running time of two hours and 23 minutes, the Chris Nolan-Zack Snyder-David S. Goyer-Henry Cavill tentpole Man Of Steel could pack an unexpectedly stronger punch because of the 3D premium and immense wannasee. 

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.

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