Man of Steel Just That at the Box Office
By John Hamann
June 16, 2013
Finishing second is another success story, this time in the strange form of This Is the End, the new film from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Funny and critically acclaimed, This Is the End got started on Wednesday, and earned a fabulous $12.3 million prior to the weekend proper. It then earned a so-so $6.9 million on Friday night (the Man of Steel effect), and turned that into an okay weekend gross of $20.5 million, and a decent five-day take of $32.8 million.
A five-day opening like this - literally in the shadow of Superman – should be considered impressive despite the differences in the numbers between the top two films. Usually I don’t believe in opening a film on Wednesday, but this was the right move for Sony, as they had a good film on their hands (85% fresh – somehow 28 percentage points better than Man of Steel), which allowed for good word-of-mouth to spread prior to the weekend. It also allowed the press to separate the coverage between Man of Steel and this one, as reviews ran in most papers on Tuesday or Wednesday, whereas Man of Steel’s would have run later in the week.
This Is the End was also able to use the truly bizarre (and funny) story to draw crowds, as we haven’t seen many comedies about the end of the world, featuring some of comedy’s best and brightest young stars playing themselves. This is an adult, R-rated (the R here stands for "rapey vibe") movie, and should parents not want to attend Man of Steel with the wee ones, they could drop the kids off and head into see this. They also targeted the weekend perfectly, as This Is the End is 2D, while Man of Steel was in 3,357 3D theatres (out of a possible 4,207). This likely means This Is the End would have had the decent sized 2D theatres. This Is the End cost only $32 million to make, a number they have matched after only a weekend, but questions remain. Will this sort of movie hold up next weekend? How will it play overseas? So far, This Is the End is a decent success, but we will have to wait to see how successful this one ends up being.
Third spot goes to Now You See Me, which is now in its third weekend. After taking down After Earth in its opening frame and The Internship in its second, Now You See Me held decently against the one-two punch of Man of Steel and This Is the End. It earned $10.3 million in its third frame, and drops 46% compared to last weekend. The $75 million heist/magic film has now matched its production budget stateside, but remember that budget was significantly reduced after Lionsgate and Summit sold off foreign rights. So far, Now You See Me has earned $80 million and is definitely playing the sleeper card, now for three weekends in a row.
Fourth is Fast & Furious 6, which finished behind The Purge and ahead of Now You See Me last weekend. This time around, the blockbuster is ahead of The Purge and behind Now You See Me, as it earns a fourth weekend gross of $9.4 million. It drops a hefty 52% versus last weekend, but has already earned $219.6 million domestically, easily making it the biggest F&F entry ever. Overseas, the film well past the $400 million mark.