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America has found its Superman and his name is Henry Cavill. Runner up to the roll of Kal El in Bryan Singer's "Superman Returns" in 2006, Cavill won the job for director Zack Snyder's "Man of Steel" which had a spectacular opening day.
The Warner Bros. release grossed $56 million Friday and is now expected to gross over $130 million by Sunday. The actual total includes group tickets through a WalMart promotion that totaled $12 million for early Thursday evening before the film's "official" Midnight debut. That will make "Man of Steel" the biggest June opening ever and place it somewhere between no. 11 and no. 14 all-time depending how you view the gross with that extra $12 million. In either case, it's a massive improvement from "Returns" which opened to just $52 million and barely made it to the $200 million mark domestically. It also likely trumps the openings of contemporary superhero films "Thor" ($65 million), "Captain America: The First Avenger" ($65 million), "Iron Man 2" ($128 million) and "Amazing Spider-Man" ($62 million). Of course, it won't be able to top "The Avengers" ($207.4 million) or last month's debut of "Iron Man 3" ($174 million) which are now the two biggest openings to date. Still, with an A- Cinemascore from audiences "Man of Steel" has a slim shot at challenging "IM3" for the summer crown. The Marvel release will soon squeak by $400 million domestic.
Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's critically acclaimed "This Is The End" came in second with another $6.8 million for $19.1 million in just three days. The R-rated comedy is looking at $30 million for the five-day. Considering its $32 million budget, that's good news for Sony Pictures who is still smarting over the disappointing results of Will Smith's "After Earth."
Appearing in third is Summit Entertainment's "Now You See Me" which conjured up another $3.2 million for $72.9 million since debuting a little over two weeks ago. The ensemble thriller is actually a substantial hit for Lionsgate and Summit as most of its $75 million production budget was covered in overseas sales.
It may not be a traditional horror movie, but "The Purge" is performing like one as it drops dramatically to fourth after a surprise strong opening last weekend. The Universal Pictures flick found another $2.9 million on Friday for $46.5 million in just 8 days. At a cost of only $3 million it will likely be one of the more profitable films of the year.
Look for complete weekend estimates tomorrow on HitFix.