Superman is up, up, and away at the box office. Man of Steel, Warner Bros’ revitalized take on the character, raked in $21 million at the box office on Thursday, which includes $9 million from midnight showings and $12 million from those 7pm “advanced screenings” that were sold exclusively through Walmart. While the increased frequency of earlier Thursday night showings starting at 7pm and running every half hour has somewhat muddled the ability to compare “midnight” takes on blockbuster films, Man of Steel’s $21 million Thursday gross ranks at number 7 among late show records, standing above Iron Man 3’s $15.6 million take but below The Dark Knight Rises’ $30.6 million Thursday gross. Hit the jump for more.
The $9 million in midnight showings indicates a strong showing this weekend, but just how strong is a topic of debate. Some are predicting an opening weekend around $85-90 million, while others are going as high as $120-130 million. Personally I think the final weekend total will stand closer to $110 million, but that all depends on how strong the word of mouth is given that critics seem to be firmly divided on director Zack Snyder’s pic.
Warner Bros. has a lot riding on Man of Steel success, as the studio hopes the retooled Superman will finally kick off its DC Comics adaptations as a unified rival for Marvel’s successful slate of superhero pics. Snyder and writer David S. Goyer have already been tapped to get to work on a Man of Steel sequel, and the two have made no secret of the fact that Man of Steel is intended to create a shared universe for the DC Comics library of characters, so all eyes will be on just how big the pic opens this weekend, and whether it will have Batman Begins-like legs in the coming weeks.
If you’ve seen the film, click here to let us know what you thought. Keep checking back here on Collider all weekend for further updates with regards to Man of Steel’s box office take.