‘Man of Steel’ Sets Box Office Record

By Phill Powell

Superman, the Man of Steel, faces off against Marvel’s The Wolverine, Pacific Rim and other summer blockbusters.

Man of Steel set an impressive record—making a mighty $113 million during its first weekend of release, giving the film the biggest box office of any movie ever released in June. (Toy Story 3 held the record with a $110.3 million opening in 2010.)

Box Office Gold
The original superhero, Superman has been very bankable. Over the past 75 years of his history he’s appeared on TV shows, movies, toys, lunch boxes—you name it. Industry analysts estimated the latest cinematic version of Superman would sell a lot of tickets, but most forecasts figured it would make approximately $25 million less in its first weekend. Now, based on Man of Steel‘s projections and proven appeal, Warner Bros. has already announced a sequel. Insiders also hint that Man of Steel, along with movies about the Green Lantern and Batman, are Warner Bros.’ attempt to set up an Avengers-type movies franchise with DC’s Justice League.

Look! Up On The Screen!
It’s been a long journey from Krypton. Superman’s first appearance on the big screen was in 1951 (Superman and the Mole Men) starring George Reeves. Reeves won immortality by playing Superman in the 1950s classic TV series.

Nicolas Cage suits up as the Man of Steel in what could have been a Tim Burton-directed version of Superman.

For the ultimate comic-book nerd, though, the best Superman movie was probably the one that was never made. In the late 1990s, Tim Burton (Batman, Planet of the Apes) was slated to direct Superman Lives, based on a script by none other than comic-book fanboy director Kevin Smith (Comic Book Men, Clerks) and starring Nicolas Cage.

Superman suits had even been made for Cage, with Burton again using exaggerated cartoon muscle features in the design. Unfortunately, filming broke down during beginning film production. Warner Bros. eventually shelved the project over script problems— sacrificing $30 million the studio had invested.

And most recently, Brandon Routh portrayed Superman in 2006’s Superman Returns.That movie, which was more of a tribute to the Richard Donner-directed Superman movies of the 70s & 80s, earned $391 million worldwide, but unfortunately failed to meet studio hopes to restart the franchise.

But thanks to Man of Steel, the sky is still the limit for Superman. One cast member who’s sure to be returning for any sequels or spin-offs, like Justice League, is Henry Cavill, the new Superman (and his alter ego, mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent). Man of Steel was directed by Zack Snyder (Watchmen, 300) and is certainly one of the must see movies of summer 2013.

Special effects and filmmaking have helped Superman come a long way.