'This Is the End' solid with expected $30 million from first five days

Warner Bros.’ “Man of Steel” is hovering just above expectations with a Friday haul of $44.1 million and a new three-day estimate around $115 million.

More than the $80 million to $100 million WB and other studios predicted by Thursday, but less than a late Friday figure that had the pic at $125 million, this bow would rep the second $100 million-plus three-day bow of 2013 after “Iron Man 3’s” $174.6 million.

“Man of Steel,” from Legendary Pictures, Syncopy and DC Entertainment,  earned nearly half of its Friday haul by late Thursday night, with $21 million coming from late Thursday screenings, $12 million of which came from a special early screening deal through Walmart.

It’s a strong start, but even after you factor in int’l grosses — “Man of Steel” opens day-and-date in 24 markets — it’s not likely to recoup its $225 million budget its opening frame.

With a Superman tentpole around the corner, Sony cannily bowed “This Is the End” on Wednesday to get a head start on the weekend and on word of mouth. Pic took $6.9 million Friday, bringing its cume to $19.2 million.

The R-rated laffer is looking at a three-day haul of around $20 million and a five-day of about $30 million, barely shy of its $32 million budget.

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