Superman Returns: ‘Man of Steel’ Has Huge Opening Weekend Box Office

Warner Brothers Man of Steel

Ever since 2006, when Superman Returns skidded out, Brandon Routh has had to contend with more than a little bit of a “Charlatan Clark Kent” stigma. With the buildup to Man of Steel, however, things got particularly bad for our man Routh. Now here was a brand new relative unknown, Henry Cavill, and his shiny, spiffed-up Superman-franchise-reboot attempt, making Brandon look all the more also-ran-y. But there was one last chance for a qualified redemption here. If Man of Steel flamed out as well, we’d all be clicking our tongues and noting, sagely, that maybe it wasn’t Routh’s fault after all; maybe it’s just really hard to launch a Superman franchise in this post—Dark Knight world. Well, forget all that, because it turns out Man of Steel is a big fat hit. Sorry, Brandon: You’re just gonna have to grin and bear it for a little while longer.

As EW reports, the flick managed $125.1 million since Thursday — good for the biggest! June opening! ever! (Sorry, Toy Story 3. Your record was short-lived, but its legacy will reverberate through time.) And, just to really rub it in: “Man of Steel also clobbered the debut of 2006’s Superman Returns, which opened with $52.5 million and earned $200 million domestically against a $270 million budget. … In about one week, Man of Steel will likely have surpassed that film’s domestic total.” Yiiikes.

So, now the talk moves to the future. A Superman sequel is already in the works; meanwhile, expect ramped-up speculation as to when a Justice League movie — Warner Bros.’s would-be answer to The Avengers — will move forward. But for now, let’s just take a minute to enjoy Superman’s re-ascendance. Thanks, Henry Cavill, you’ve brought a true American Kryptonian hero back to the main stage. Something that total jerk Brandon Routh never managed. Thanks for nothing, Brandon.

Filed Under: Box office, Henry Cavill, Man of Steel, Superman

Amos Barshad has written for New York Magazine, Spin, GQ, XXL, and the Arkansas Times. He is a staff writer for Grantland.

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