Weekend Wrap Up: “Man of Steel” Proves Its Mettle

For months, I had been cautiously optimistic about the box office prospects of Man of Steel. While I saw expectations and predictions ballooning all around me, I tried to keep things in perspective and ended up low-balling things with a conservative $80 million debut. Well, as it turned out, the hype actually proved justified for once, as Man of Steel crushed the previous record for a reboot film, as well as my expectations.

Man of Steel

As I said, I tried to keep my predictions in check for this one, especially after the mediocre reviews came out. It worried me that Zac Snyder had failed to deliver after all. However, Man of Steel might end up being one of the shining examples of dissonance between critical and audience reception. Its 56% RT rating is offset by an 82% audience rating, and it also has a strong A- Cinemascore. Clearly, audiences are responding much more strongly than critics and they helped power Man of Steel to a $113 million opening.

Superman got started early on Thursday with sneak previews, so it has a running total of $125 million when you include those. Any way you slice it, though, this debut is very good news for Warner Bros. Reboots are usually a tough sell and the previous record for best reboot debut went to The Amazing Spider-Man, but comparisons aren’t exactly fair since the web-slinger debuted on a Tuesday. Had TASM opened on a Friday, it probably would’ve made $80 or $90 million.

All that said, things looking ahead for Man of Steel look pretty solid. There is some direct competition in World War Z next weekend, but I think that has flop written all over it (but I’ll probably still go see it). More importantly, as long Man of Steel holds decently and audiences truly do like it, what it could represent to Warner Bros. is literally billions of dollars if they can use this film as the jumping off point for a full DC universe, ultimately punctuated with a Justice League film. But I think it’s a bit too early to judge long-range prospects for Supes. I’ll have to wait to see how much it drops next weekend.

Debuting way back in second, we have This is the End, which got started on Wednesday. TITE has pulled in $32.8 million since its debut and grossed $20.5 million over the weekend proper. That’s good, but not great. It has a solid B+ Cinemascore, so I think it could do well going forward. Its only upcoming comedy competition is The Heat, but that’s aimed more at women so I think TITE will be just fine.

Now You See Me stayed steady in third place, grossing $10.3 million after falling 46%. With $80 million in the bank now, $100 million is within its sights. Fast and Furious 6 dropped 52% to $9.4 million and lifted its total gross to $219.6 million, passing the final gross of Fast Five in the process. A final gross around $240 million seems about right.

One week after its huge debut, The Purge came crashing back down to earth. Falling a massive 75%, The Purge joined a dubious club of fewer than 30 films that have managed to collapse over 75% in their second weekends. It made just $8.2 million this weekend, or about half of what it did on last Friday alone. With $51.8 million in the bank, it’s already wildly profitable but will struggle to so much as double its opening weekend in its entire run.

Also collapsing, The Internship fell 60% to $7 million. I guess that’s what happens when a movie isn’t funny and faces direct competition from TITE. With just under $31 million so far, this is definitely a failure, though honestly, it’s not as bad as it could’ve been. Epic fell 50% down to an even $6 million. With $95.4 million in the bank, it continues its slow march toward $100 million.

Falling 51%, Star Trek Into Darkness grossed $5.7 million and brought its gross to $210.5 million. It should ultimately wind up with around $230 million. I hope the overseas grosses are strong enough for Paramount to go forward with a third film in this series, because it truly deserves it.

Collapsing for the second weekend in a row, After Earth plummeted 65% and grossed $3.8 million. Its $54 million total is pathetic. And after seven weekends in the top ten, we bid farewell to Iron Man 3. Tony Stark was down 50%, pulled in $2.9 million and is just a few hundred thousand dollars shy of $400 million. It will more than likely remain the highest grossing film of the year. The only movie that I think has even a chance of beating it is Catching Fire. But if this weekend and my predictions showed anything, my expectations can be pretty far off.

Next weekend brings us World War Z, which I would be shocked to see break out, and Monsters University, which is guaranteed to be huge. However, both will have to contend with the second weekend of the Last Son of Krypton, so it will be interesting for sure. It should definitely be interesting. Until we meet again.

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