Warner's highly anticipated Man of Steel was off to a strong late night start last night with an estimated $21.0 million. Warner Bros. is reporting that $9 million of the late night total was from midnight shows, while $12 million was from pre-midnight shows from the corporate group sale screening program with Walmart. Because of the promotion with Walmart, comparisons with other films are difficult to make at this point. Regardless, Man of Steel was off to a very strong start last night and clearly had an effect on the rest of the marketplace on Thursday (along with Game 4 of the NBA Finals). As is now commonplace, it is being assumed that pre-midnight grosses will be counted towards Friday's opening day performance. Check back throughout the weekend for further box office updates on the box office progress of Man of Steel.
This Is The End grossed $4.49 million on Thursday to technically remain in first place. The R-rated ensemble comedy from Sony fell a significant 43 percent from Wednesday's opening day performance. That wasn't much of a surprise given the various factors at play on Thursday (Man of Steel, the NBA Finals and the opening day rush out of fans on Wednesday). In comparison, This Is The End held up better than 2008's Pineapple Express, which fell 50 percent on its first Thursday to gross $5.99 million. However, the film didn't hold up as well as 2008's Tropic Thunder, which fell 30 percent on its first Thursday to gross $4.53 million.
Through two days, This Is The End has grossed a very solid $12.31 million, placing it 12 percent ahead of the $11.03 million two-day take of Tropic Thunder and 32 percent behind the $18.07 million two-day start of Pineapple Express. With aid from seemingly healthy early word of mouth (the film received a B+ rating on CinemaScore), This Is The End will hope to pick up steam over the weekend.
Now You See Me held steady in second place on Thursday with $1.94 million. Lionsgate's ensemble thriller was down just 2 percent from Wednesday and down 37 percent from last Thursday. Now You See Me placed in second for the week with $27.82 million. That was down 34 percent from the film's opening week performance and brings the film's two-week total to $69.69 million.
Universal's The Purge fell a sharp 11 percent from Wednesday, but was able to remain in third on Thursday with $1.69 million. While it was especially front-loaded throughout the week, The Purge was nonetheless the week's top film by a comfortable margin with a surprisingly strong seven-day start of $43.64 million.
Fellow Universal release Fast & Furious 6 claimed fourth place with $1.49 million. The blockbuster sixth installment of the popular action franchise fell 8 percent from Wednesday and 48 percent from last Thursday. Fast & Furious 6 took third place for the week with $26.95 million (down 43 percent from the previous week). With a 21-day take of $210.14 million, Fast & Furious 6 has now out-grossed the $209.84 million final domestic gross of 2011's Fast Five.
Fox's The Internship rounded out the day's unchanged top five with $1.38 million. The PG-13 rated comedy starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson fell 2 percent from Wednesday. The Internship placed in fourth for the week with a seven-day start of $23.95 million. While that was in line with pre-release expectations, in was nonetheless underwhelming given the film's re-teaming of Wedding Crashers stars Vaughn and Wilson.