Man of Steel Makes $21 Million at Early Screenings, Already Setting Records

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Would the discounted Wal-Mart tickets be counted as opening weekend ticket sales for Man of Steel? We've got our answer--the showings generated $12 million for the Superman reboot. Coupled with $9 million in midnight screenings, that's a $21 million opening day. That beats out the estimated $18 million that Iron Man 3 generated on Thursday, although the comparison is a bit apples-to-oranges since that film didn't have the 7 p.m. "corporate screenings" that Wal-Mart put on for Man of Steel. Still, comparing the midnight-only numbers would be equally misleading, since many fans who attended the 7 p.m. screenings would have gone to a midnight show if that had been their earliest option. Deadline reports (while acknowledging the 7 p.m. handicap), "The number ranks 7th among late show records, behind only the Harry Potter and Twilight franchises, but ahead of The Hunger Games. It's also the all-time highest superhero late show record, surpassing The Avengers' remarkable $18.7M and The Dark Knight's $18.5M." Warner Bros. is projecting an $80 million opening for the film, while presumably hoping for more. Rival studios are expecting it to open at around $100 million and Box Office Mojo is calling for a record-shattering $139 million weekend.