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'Man of Steel' earns $125 million in debut

by DERRIK J. LANG AP Entertainment Writer on June 17, 2013 11:00 AM

LOS ANGELES — “Man of Steel” leaped over box office expectations in a single weekend.

The Warner Bros. superhero film earned $113 million in its opening weekend at the box office, according to studio estimates Sunday. The retelling of Superman’s back story earned an additional $12 million from Thursday screenings, bringing its domestic total to $125 million. Original box-office expectations for “Man of Steel” ranged from $75 million to $130 million.

“They finally got the Superman formula right,” said Paul Dergarabedian, an analyst for box-office tracker Hollywood.com. “Superhero movies really are the bread and butter of the summer box office. The fact that ‘Iron Man 3’ has the biggest opening of the year so far and ‘Man of Steel’ has the second-biggest opening of the year just proves that.”

“Man of Steel,” which stars Henry Cavill as Superman and Amy Adams as Lois Lane, also nabbed the record for June’s biggest opening away from “Toy Story 3,” the Disney-Pixar film which banked $110.3 million when it opened in 2010. “Superman Returns,” the previous Superman film starring Brandon Routh in the titular role, launched with $52.5 million in 2006. The new take on Superman’s origin also performed solidly overseas, earning $71.6 million from 24 nations, including the Philippines, India, Malaysia and the United Kingdom, where “Man of Steel” earned $17.1 million. The film, which also stars Russell Crowe and Michael Shannon, is set to open next weekend in 27 more nations, such as Russia and China.

Sony’s “This Is the End” debuted in second place in North America behind “Man of Steel” with $20.5 million in its opening weekend. The comedy starring Seth Rogen, James Franco and Jonah Hill as versions of themselves trapped in a mansion during the apocalypse opened Wednesday, earning a domestic total of $32.8 million. The film cost just $32 million to produce.

“We knew we were going to have competition, but we felt our movie stood on its own and had its own voice,” said Rory Bruer, Sony’s president of worldwide distribution. “I believe we’ve absolutely proven that. To have this amount of money in the bank with its cost of production, good reviews and word of mouth really puts our feet on solid ground.”

Estimated ticket sales below are for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Hollywood.com. Where available, the latest international numbers are also included.

1. “Man of Steel,” $113 million ($71.6 million international)

2. “This Is the End,” $20.5 million

3. “Now You See Me,” $10.3 million ($15.6 million international)

4. “Fast & Furious 6,” $9.4 million ($20 million international)

5. “The Purge,” $8.2 million ($2.4 million international)

6. “The Internship,” $7 million ($5.1 million international)

7. “Epic,” $6 million ($8.1 million international)

8. “Star Trek: Into Darkness,” $5.6 million ($17 million international)

9. “After Earth,” $3.7 million ($24 million international)

10. “Iron Man 3,” $2.9 million ($1 million international)

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