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'Man of Steel' Opens to Second Best Gross of 2013; 'Bling Ring' Debut Glitters

Photo of Tom Brueggemann By Tom Brueggemann | Thompson on Hollywood June 15, 2013 at 4:15PM

"Man of Steel," Warner Bros.' reboot of the "Superman" franchise, grossed a super $44 million on Friday (including midnight shows, but not Thursday evening Walmart-promotion screenings, which took in an addition $12 million). This is just under two-thirds of the opening day of "Iron Man 3," which was similarly enhanced by premium 3-D and IMAX ticket prices. "The Dark Knight Rises" last July, which confronted the Aurora tragedy its opening day, did over $75 million with no 3-D.
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Russell Crowe as Jor-El.
Russell Crowe as Jor-El.

"Man of Steel," Warner Bros.' reboot of the "Superman" franchise, grossed a super $44 million on Friday (including midnight shows, but not Thursday evening Walmart-promotion screenings, which took in an addition $12 million). This is just under two-thirds of the opening day of "Iron Man 3," which was similarly enhanced by premium 3-D and IMAX ticket prices. "The Dark Knight Rises" last July, which confronted the Aurora tragedy its opening day, did over $75 million with no 3-D.

Disney/Marvel's "Iron Man 3" boasted less competition, bigger stars, and an edge from residual momentum from blockbuster "The Avengers" and better reviews. On the other hand, "Man of Steel" was boosted by kids getting out of school in June. 

The result is a robust but not record-breaking stateside gross. Comparisons to the 2006 "Superman Returns" are a bit tricky -- that film grossed $16 million its first Friday, but had already taken in an additional $32 million with a Tuesday night start. Also, the average ticket cost for "Man of Steel" is 20% higher on average, plus surcharges. That said, it appears the initial weekend total of customers will be a decent jump from the previous series entry.

Yesterday's total box office take looks to be somewhere in the area of $70 million, about $30 million ahead of 2012. Going into the weekend, 2013 was about $275 million behind last year ($4.525 billion to about $4.8), so this week looks to cut the gap by a healthy $100 million or so.

'The Bling Ring'
'The Bling Ring'

Less healthy is the number one film's dominance of the overall field now that the summer is fully underway. "Man of Steel" constituted about two-thirds of the Friday business. 

Number two was Sony's all-star comedy "This Is the End," which grossed just under $7 million for a three-day total of $19.2 million. Positioned as an alternative to "Steel," this looks to be a rousing relatively low-budget sleeper hit with good word of mouth. 

Number three is Lionsgates's surprise success "Now You See Me," which looks like it will be the best of the holdovers and rise a notch from its position last week despite a drop of almost half from last Friday (it did $3.2 million and now is at a $73 million total). Last week's #1 "The Purge" (Universal) collapsed as expected, though at 82% one of the worst drops for a #1 week gross ever, and could end up as low as #5 for the weekend (for the day it was slightly ahead of "Fast & Furious 6").

The rest of the holdovers in the top 10 grossed $2.3 million or less, with only four of the five topping the $1 million mark, very mediocre for mid-June top-end releases.

A24's limited opening of "The Bling Ring" did a promising $77,000 in five theaters, adding another potential success to the recent series of decent if not yet breakout specialized releases.

This article is related to: Man Of Steel, The Bling Ring, This Is The End, Box Office, Box Office, Box Office


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.