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Man of Steel sets June US box office record

The Superman franchise celebrates the success of Man of Steel's record ticket sales.

Actor Henry Cavill attends the Man Of Steel world premiere at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center on June 10, 2013 in New York City. Picture: AFP

REUTERS - Man of Steel, the big-budget reboot of the Superman franchise, leaped over the apocalyptic buddy comedy This is the End, collecting a muscular $113.1 million to lead the domestic box office with the year's second-largest debut weekend and the biggest June opening ever.

Man of Steel, starring British-born Henry Cavill in the first Superman movie released in seven years, carried a hefty budget of $225 million and took in a total of $125 million through Sunday including early screenings, according to BoxOffice.com.

The special-effects laden film is the story of the infant Kal-El, who escapes his doomed home planet Krypton and grows up in the idyllic town of Smallville with his parents, played by Kevin Costner and Diane Lane. Amy Adams plays the budding superhero's girlfriend Lois Lane.

The film, directed by Zack Snyder, with Christopher Nolan serving as co-writer and one of its producers, added $71.6 million from overseas box offices in 24 markets.

"Today is a big day for us," said Warner Bros' president of theatrical distribution Dan Fellman, noting the film's record opening. He added that Man of Steel was now well-poised to reap big box office in the heart of the summer play time.

The studio was also pleased by 56 percent male, 44 percent female audience, which Fellman said bodes well being a higher-female makeup that was usual for superhero-centred pictures.

"The film is playing extremely well for fan boys as well as the family," he said.

This is the End collected $20.5 million at theatres in the domestic market comprised of the United States and Canada, according to studio estimates collected by Reuters.

In third place, the comedy heist caper Now You See Me continued its stronger-than-expected showing with ticket sales of $10.3 million, bringing its three-week total to $80 million.

Man of Steel came out of the gate roaring, with $9 million in midnight showings early on Friday morning, according to the box office division of Hollywood.com, adding $12 million in Thursday showings in association with retailer Walmart.

The film broke the record of $110.3 million held by 2010's Toy Story 3 for a June opening and was this year's second-biggest debut weekend after Iron Man 3.

The Internship, a comedy starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson based on the antics of nerds in search of a job at internet giant Google, continued its lacklustre box office showing, selling $7 million worth of tickets to finish sixth.

After Earth, a $130 million post-apocalyptic thriller starring Will Smith and his teenage son Jaden, continued its weak showing at US and Canadian box office with $3.6 million, in ninth place. After Earth did perform well overseas, selling $24 million worth of tickets outside the domestic market.

Man of Steel was released by Warner Bros. Sony/Columbia released This is the End. The Purge and Fast and Furious 6 were distributed by Universal, a unit of Comcast's NBC Universal unit. The Internship was released by Fox, a unit of News Corp. Now You See Me was distributed by Summit Entertainment, a unit of Lions Gate Entertainment.

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