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'Man of Steel' opens with solid $21 million Thursday night

Warner Bros. continues to excel in pre-opening screenings. Its “Man of Steel” took flight in Thursday night runs, taking in $21 million from showings before its wide North America opening on Friday.

The film, starring Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman and Amy Adams as Lois Lane, posted solid numbers, making $12 million from special screenings Thursday and $9 million from midnight runs, according to Hollywood.com.

The movie produced by Christopher Nolan and directed by Zack Snyder topped “Iron Man 3,” which scored $15.6 million in its May midnight debut.  

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The first Superman film in seven years is expected to earn between $90 million and $100 million in its opening weekend.

Warner Bros. is hoping “Man of Steel” will become a blockbuster that launches a new franchise for the studio. The movie currently has a 59% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Last summer’s Batman movie “The Dark Night Rises,” directed by Nolan, had a midnight gross of $30.6 million, the second-best showing ever after the $43.5 million made by “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2.” Both are Warner Brothers titles. 

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