Harsh reviews of a darker Superman reboot aren't hurting "Man of Steel" at all.
The film currently sits at an unimpressive 57% on film review site Rotten Tomatoes, but it's soaring at theaters.
Friday midnight showings of the Zack Snyder directed film accounted for $9 million in ticket sales. Another $12 million from 7 p.m. Thursday evening screenings through advanced Wal-Mart ticket sales brought in a total haul of $21 million.
Projections already have the film earning up to $45 million Friday night leading to box-office totals of more than $100 million.
Fandango tells us "Man of Steel" represented 85% of its online ticket sales Friday.
The film is doing so well at the box office that it may break the current opening weekend record for June and will go on to be one of the highest-opening weekends of the year.
Currently, "Toy Story 3" holds the June record with $110.3 million. Current estimates for "Man of Steel" see it earning as much as — or even more than — $120 million this weekend which would be a huge number — not only for a reboot, but also for a first film in a franchise and a film this year where the box office was particularly sluggish prior to the May onslaught of blockbusters.
Right now, only two films — "Iron Man 3" and "Fast & Furious 6" have earned more than $100 million dollars opening weekend this year.
Note: The movie is NOT bad by a long shot.
For all the critics complaining over the fact the film is dark (it's really not much of a gloom and doom fest), that appears to be one of the main draws sending people to see the reboot.
According to a Fandango survey of 1,000 people who purchased tickets to see the film, the following factors are playing a role in people's decision to see "Man of Steel":
* 88% are fans of Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” franchise
* 81% are looking forward to seeing a darker interpretation of Superman
* 61% plan to see it on the big screen more than once, indicating heavy repeat viewing in weeks to come.
The most impressive stat is that a lot of people may want to see this movie more than once — something that was common with Christopher Nolan's "Dark Knight" trilogy.
"The Dark Knight Rises" went on to earn an impressive $161 million opening weekend and this was with no 3D screenings and after a drop in box-office sales following the Colorado theater shooting at a midnight screening.
Don't expect it to be "TDKR" or "Iron Man 3" huge though.
Remember, those films were the third in their respective franchises. As well, "Iron Man 3" was also seen as a sequel to 2012's highest-grossing movie, "The Avengers." (Though it appears the high tracking numbers of "Man of Steel" may be seen as the result of the film being likened to "TDKR" sequel.)
Fandango's Dave Karger shares with Business Insider that opening Father's Day weekend is another draw for the film as well.
"It will be hard for Superman to beat ‘Iron Man 3’ but the timing is perfectly positioned between Father’s Day and July 4," says Karger. "The father-son story is particularly touching – and the film should play well throughout July, especially in the heartland."
Here are the numbers to beat for the weekend:
|Movie||Opening Weekend Earnings|
|1. "Iron Man 3"||$174.1 million|
|2. "Fast & Furious 6"||$120 million*|
|3. "Oz the Great and Powerful"||$79.1 million|
|4. "Star Trek Into Darkness"||$70.1 million|
|5. "The Great Gatsby"||$50.1 million|
*This was the four day MDW total. "F&F 6" earned $97 million in the three-day weekend.
Overall, here are the highest-grossing opening weekends:
|Movie||Opening Weekend Earnings|
|1. "The Avengers"||$207 million|
|2. "Iron Man 3"||$174.1 million|
|3. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2"||$169.2 million|
|4. "The Dark Knight Rises"||$160.1 million|
|5. "The Dark Knight"||$158.4 million|