Seth Rogan This is the end

Ensemble comedy projected to hit high-$30 million upside

Sony’s apocalyptic comedy “This Is the End” continues its solid mid-week start, posting $7.8 million on Wednesday, which includes the film’s $2.2 million late-night gross from Tuesday. Pic is on track for a potential high-$30 million upside in five days.

The ensemble laffer, which stars Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, James Franco, Danny McBride and Craig Robinson, should easily recoup its modest $32 million budget, especially if word-of-mouth builds like it’s expected to with strong reviews and audience exit polls. With a strong media blitz, it’s likely that Sony spent considerable coin marketing the film, however.

Sony begins expanding the film internationally starting next week in the U.K.

There are few domestic comparisons for the mid-week opener. Last year, Paramount bowed “The Dictator” wide on a Wednesday earning $4.2 million (including just $600,000 from midnights, however). That film wound up earning $24.5 million in five days, though word-of-mouth fell flat for the Sacha Baron Cohen comedy. In 2008, Par-DreamWorks’ “Tropic Thunder” bowed mid-week with $6.5 million that led to a $36.8 million five-day domestic start.

This Is the End” still won’t win the weekend, competing against Warner Bros.’ superhero tentpole “Man of Steel,” which should gross close to $100 million or more.

“Man of Steel” kicked off Wednesday in the Philippines, where it grossed a record-shattering $1.7 million that day — the country’s biggest opening day ever. Warners expands “Man of Steel” in 24 markets this weekend, including South Korea, Mexico and the U.K.

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