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Enjoying a historic boost from Father’s Day, Man of Steel‘s North American debut came in higher than expected at $128.7 million, pushing the film’s worldwide total to $200.3 million.
Man of Steel, from Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures, enjoyed the best hold on Father’s Day in history, according to Warners.
Director Zack Snyder and producer Christopher Nolan‘s darker, more violent take on Superman saw zero decline from Saturday to Sunday, grossing $36.3 million on each day.
Going by normal models, Warners estimated on Sunday that Man of Steel would open to $113.1 million from Friday to Sunday and $125.1 million including the $12 million earned Thursday night from special Walmart screenings. But the stellar showing on Sunday prompted Warners to revise those numbers upward to $116.7 million and $128.7 million, respectively.
Overseas, Man of Steel opened to a strong $71.6 million in its first 24 markets.
In North America, Man of Steel scored the top June opening of all time, eclipsing previous June record-holder Toy Story 3, which debuted to $110.3 million in June 2010. All told, grosses for Father’s Day weekend were up a staggering 51 percent over last year, with Man of Steel capturing 60 percent of the market.
“The movie is a perfect blend of a superhero who reaches not only the fanboy audience but the family audience as well, with great results from both,” said Warners president of domestic distribution Dan Fellman.
Man of Steel is a notable win for Warners and Legendary Pictures, which co-financed the $225 million tentpole. In 2006, Warners and Legendary’s Superman Returns did OK business at the box office, but not enough to mark a new chapter for the franchise.
Man of Steel opens exactly 30 years after Superman III, the third entry in the wildly popular Christopher Reeve franchise. There was one more title in that series, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, although it fell flat at the box office in summer 1987.
This time out, British star Henry Cavill stars as Clark Kent, aka Superman, which sees his character trying to hide his superpowers and live a normal life on Earth. Amy Adams stars as Lois Lane and Michael Shannon takes on the role of the menacing General Zod. Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner and Diane Lane also star.
David S. Goyer penned the script based on a story he crafted with Nolan. Warners and Legendary turned to Nolan as a producer on the project after he successfully revived the Batman franchise with his Dark Knight trilogy. In the summer of 2005, Nolan’s Batman Begins opened to $48.7 million and had incredible staying power.
Man of Steel, while drawing mixed reviews, earned an A- CinemaScore, portending strong word of mouth. The pic skewed male (56 percent) and was fueled by older moviegoers, with 62 percent of the audience over the age of 25.
Imax theaters did big business, taking in $13.3 million (12 percent of the total gross) to likewise score the biggest June opening of all time.
Overall, 41 percent of the revenues came from 3D screens.
Overseas, Man of Steel soared to the top of the chart in the U.K. — Cavill’s home country — and in Mexico, taking in $17.1 million and $9.8 million, respectively. It dazzled in Southeast Asia, including in South Korea ($9.9 million).
In the 24 markets where it opened, Man of Steel is pacing 39 percent ahead of Nolan’s The Dark Knight, which earned $470 million offshore. It opens this coming weekend in 26 additional markets.
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