It's always nice when a gamble comes off and have no doubts about it, despite the marketing, trailers, IP and general sense of merriment, MAN OF STEEL was still a gamble.
Its predecessor, the oft unfairly maligned SUPERMAN RETURNS, debuted to an underwhelming $52.5 million 6 years ago. Therefore, despite the rippling $225 million budget and a bucket load of good will, MAN OF STEEL was not guaranteed a smooth ride.
A record-breaking June weekend return of $113 million later however and all those fears are looking more than a little silly, giving it a $125 million posting for the week. The beefy opening puts MAN OF STEEL behind only IRON MAN 3's $174 million opening in May this year.
So, good news for DC's flagship spandexed alien-god and even better news for Warner Brothers. It's been a tough year for the WB so far, with only GREAT GATSBY and 42 surviving the box-office jungle with decent numbers, their other offerings – JACK THE GIANT SLAYER, THE HANGOVER PART III and others – all falling short of expectations.
'We're thrilled,' said Dan Fellman, the studio's head honcho of domestic distribution, 'and it will fly through the summer.' Proving once and for all that executive folks know a good pun when they see one.
Fellman went on to teasingly hint that MAN OF STEEL's success has brought WB one step closer to the long anticipated JUSTICE LEAGUE luau, further hinting that we can expect Henry Cavill to 'be around for a while.' Sly dog as he is.
Apocalyptic comedy THIS IS THE END also had a strong launch weekend bringing home $20.5 million for a $32.8 million posting for the week since its Wednesday launch. Initial reviews for the star-fest have been positive and it seems as though audiences have reacted in turn.
Elsewhere, in the murky waters of post-release, AFTER EARTH continued to flounder and cry itself to sleep at night, crawling over the $50 million mark in its 3rd week of release. NOW YOU SEE ME continued to fair better however, hitting the number 3 spot for the week with $10.3 million, giving it a chance at breaking the $100 million mark in the coming weeks.
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