Warner's Man of Steel took in a strong $116.62 million this weekend. That figure doesn't include the $12.06 million the film grossed from Thursday night 7 p.m. shows from the corporate group sale screening program with Walmart, as Warner Bros. is officially reporting those grosses separate from the film's opening weekend performance. When including those grosses, Man of Steel was off to a $128.68 million start. With or without the $12.06 million, Man of Steel established a new unadjusted opening weekend record for the month of June, as it topped the $110.31 million opening weekend take of previous record holder Toy Story 3.
The opening weekend take of Man of Steel was the second largest of 2013 thus far (behind only the $174.14 million start of Iron Man 3). Of great importance for Warner Bros. is that the start of Man of Steel represents a vast improvement over the start of 2006's Superman Returns, which had a far more modest opening weekend take of $52.54 million and a five-day start of $84.59 million (that film opened on a Wednesday).
Without the $12.06 million from corporate screenings, Man of Steel grossed $44.01 million on Friday. The film fell a very reasonable 17.5 percent on Saturday to gross $36.32 million (which was up an impressive 4 percent from Friday when factoring out midnight grosses). With aid from the Father's Day holiday, Man of Steel then exceeded expectations on Sunday with a $36.29 million take, which was essentially unchanged from Saturday's performance. The opening weekend to Friday ratio for Man of Steel was 2.65 to 1.
In addition to a strong marketing campaign, there is no doubt that the involvement of Christopher Nolan with the film as a writer and producer helped build up excitement for Man of Steel. The film was also helped out by grosses from IMAX and 3D engagements; IMAX grosses were an estimated $13.3 million this weekend, while 41 percent of the film's overall grosses came from 3D shows. Man of Steel received an A- rating on CinemaScore, which is an encouraging early sign as the film goes forward in its run.
Sony's This Is The End claimed second place this weekend with $20.72 million. The ensemble R-rated comedy has now grossed $33.03 million in its first five days of release. This Is The End opened in line with the lower end of expectations and was off to a very solid start when taking into account its modest price tag for a high profile summer release. In comparison, 2008's Pineapple Express grossed $23.25 million during its opening weekend and $41.32 million in its first five days of release.
While This Is The End is currently running 20 percent behind the five-day start of Pineapple Express, it is displaying stronger holding power in its initial days of release, as its five-day to opening weekend ratio of 1.59 to 1 came in notably below the 1.78 to 1 ratio of This Is The End. That is an encouraging sign for the film going forward, as is the film's B+ rating on CinemaScore. With that said, generating truly exceptional holding power may be easier said than done given the amount of high profile releases that will continue to enter the marketplace over the next few weeks now that the summer season is into full gear.
This Is The End grossed $6.95 million on Friday, increased 9 percent on Saturday to gross $7.58 million and fell 18 percent on Sunday to take in $6.19 million. The audience breakdown for the film skewed towards male moviegoers (60 percent) and slightly towards moviegoers over 25 (52 percent).
With Man of Steel dominating the marketplace this weekend, it came as no surprise that holdovers in general took significant hits (and that is with Father's Day boosting grosses in general on Sunday). The weekend's most impressive holdover among wide releases, both in ranking and percentage hold was Lionsgate's Now You See Me. The crowd pleasing ensemble thriller placed in third with $11.02 million. That was down 42 percent from last weekend and brings the 17-day total for Now You See Me to $80.71 million. The surprise hit of early summer is now $19.29 million away from reaching the $100 million domestic milestone.
Not holding up anywhere near as well this weekend was Universal's The Purge. After an exceptionally strong first place debut last weekend, the ultra-low budget sci-fi thriller was down four spots and a massive 76 percent this weekend to place in fifth with $8.32 million. That placed The Purge behind fellow Universal release Fast & Furious 6 in this weekend's rankings. Fast & Furious 6 fell 51 percent to gross $9.58 million. To date, Fast & Furious 6 has grossed $219.72 million in 24 days. Despite displaying very poor holding power so far, The Purge has still grossed a strong $51.96 million in ten days thanks largely to its opening weekend performance.
Fox's The Internship didn't hold up very well this weekend either. On the heels of last weekend's so-so start, the PG-13 rated comedy starring Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn fell 59 percent and two spots this weekend to claim sixth with $7.15 million. In addition to having to deal with the rush out of moviegoers to Man of Steel, there is no doubt that The Internship has taken a direct hit from This Is The End since Wednesday. The ten-day start for The Internship stands at an underwhelming $31.09 million.
On the limited front, films had a tough time expanding in the shadow of Man of Steel. Sony Pictures Classics' Before Midnight took in $1.38 million this weekend from 897 locations. While that was up 163 percent over last weekend, the Richard Linklater directed film only managed a per-location average of $1,541 this weekend. Meanwhile, Roadside's Much Ado About Nothing grossed $161,625 from 23 locations. That gave the Joss Whedon directed film a per-location average of $7,027 for the frame, but was down 6 percent from last weekend's start in 5 locations.
A24's The Bling Ring fared significantly better this weekend with a debut of $212,537 from 5 locations in New York and Los Angeles. The Sofia Coppola directed film earned an impressive per-location average of $42,507. The Bling Ring will receive a major expansion on Friday.
Also off to a noteworthy platform start in New York and Los Angeles was RADiUS-TWC's 20 Feet from Stardom. The music documentary grossed $54,596 from 3 locations, giving it a healthy per-location average of $18,199.