Adjusted for Inflation, How Did the Other 5 Superman Films Stack Up Against the Massively Successful Man of Steel
Granted, Man of Steel -- if word of mouth is outstanding -- still has an outside chance of beating the original Superman, but it should have no problem at all grossing more than Superman II ($308 million, adjusted) and Superman Returns ($200 million, adjusted).
It's interesting to remember, however, that back in the day, sequels almost always failed to live up to their predecessors at the box office (Stars Wars, excepted). It's why sequels used to not be as common as they are today, an era when the sixth Fast and Furious movie just became the most successful in the franchise, passing Fast Five over the weekend. In fact, Superman III and Superman IV were practically bombs. Superman III put up an only OK $153 million (adjusted for inflation), while the bottom dropped out with Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, which made only $31 million adjusted for inflation, or $15 million actual. I've never seen The Quest for Peace and judging by its box office, I am not alone. Critics were not kind, either; "one of the cheesiest movies of all time" holds a meager 9 percent on the Tomatometer.
In fact, adjusted for inflation, Superman IV fared even worse than Supergirl's $33 million, adjusted for inflation, and that film I do remember. It was awful, even to a 10 year old. That is fairly evident from the trailer.
Let us hope that Warner Brothers doesn't let the success of Man of Steel go to its head and make the same mistakes twice.