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Weekend Predictions: Will Latest Superman Flick Live Up to Its Name?

June 13th, 2013

This week one of the biggest movies of the summer is coming out. Man of Steel is the latest film in the longest running super hero franchises of all time. Granted, Superman hasn't always been overly popular with moviegoers or critics, but it should still sell lots of tickets. This is the End is the counter-programming for the week, and it has a lot of popular actors and the reviews are strong, but it opened on Wednesday, so its weekend numbers will be softer as a result. Last year the box office was led by Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted and Prometheus, both of which were in their second weekend of release. The new releases were Rock of Ages and That's My Boy, both of which bombed. I foresee a victory in the year-over-year comparison.

The history of Superman at the movies is a long one, stretching all the way back to 1951 with Superman and the Mole Men. (It could also start in 1941, if you count the Max Fleischer produced Superman shorts.) However, it wasn't until 1978 and Superman that the franchise became a major player at the box office. Unfortunately, since then the franchise has seen more misses than hits. Superman Returns was a movie that didn't live up to high expectations and while it didn't bomb, it struggled to break even. Man of Steel enters theaters with a history of highs and lows behind it. Speaking of highs and lows... When I checked Rotten Tomatoes for the film's Tomatometer score earlier this week, it was sitting at just over 80% positive. This was not quite as strong as Star Trek into Darkness, but it was still great. Then it started to fall. In fact, it has fallen below the 60% level and currently sits at 57% positive. This is close to, but slightly lower than Watchmen's reviews were, which opened well and then completely collapsed. How will this affect the film's box office numbers? It probably won't put too much of a dent into the opening weekend and topping $100 million seems likely. However, it will also likely be close and it will likely fall pretty fast during its sophomore stint.

This is the End opened on Wednesday earning $7.28 million, including an estimated $2.2 million on Tuesday night midnight showings. This is not blockbuster level, but it is solid for counter-programming. Additionally, its reviews are amazing. A Tomatometer Score of 82% positive would be good for a drama or a film opening in limited release. It should certainly help an R-rated comedy, especially with the weak competition in this genre so far this summer. Look for another $5 million tonight and just over $20 million over the weekend.

Now You See Me was the best of the holdovers on Wednesday, barely topping The Purge for the night. Its reviews are not good, but it held on really well last weekend and should do the same this weekend. I expect it to place third with just over $11 million over the weekend giving it a total of more than $80 million after three.

The Purge opened better than expected last weekend, but its internal multiplier was weak, as was its Flixster and CinemaScore ratings. This suggests a quick tumble this weekend. In fact, there are some who think it will fall below $10 million. I think it will avoid that fate, but barely. Fortunately, it will cross $50 million over the weekend, which should be enough to cover its combined budget.

Fast and Furious 6 should round out the top five with $9 million over the weekend for a running tally of $220 million.


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Filed under: Weekend Preview, Man of Steel, Fast and Furious 6, Now You See Me, This is the End, The Purge, Superman