Man of Steel 2013 SPOILERS: Scientist Calculates Death Toll, Financial Cost Of Superman, General Zod’s Final Metropolis Battle In Film

By Andrew Meola | Jun 18, 2013 12:18 PM EDT
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Man of Steel hauled in $116,619,362 in its opening weekend, according to Box Office Mojo, but that figure would not even put a small dent in the damage caused by Superman and General Zod in their final battle in the movie.

For nearly the entire final 45 minutes of the movie, Superman and Zod hold a super-powered clash in the city of Metropolis and the collateral damage is astronomical. Buildings fall like houses of cards, streets split apart and the body count rises seemingly every moment.

The site BuzzFeed commissioned scientist and disaster expert Charles Watson to calculate the damage caused by the intense battle. Watson and his team at Watson Technical Consulting analyzed what would happen if Zod's "world engine," a device he places in Metropolis in the movie to transform Earth into a New Krypton, were to touch down at ground zero in central Manhattan and central Chicago.

The team determined that the damage in the film encompassed a one-mile diameter and that the aftermath of the attack would yield 129,000 dead, more than 250,000 missing (most of whom would also have died in the battle) and almost one million injured.

"[The impact] seemed to be similar to an air burst from a 20 [kiloton] nuclear explosion in terms of shock effects, but without the associated radiation or thermal effects," the WTC wrote.

The damage done to the city's infrastructure would cost about $700 billion. For perspective, the physical damage from the 9/11 terrorist attacks cost $55 billion, while the economic toll equaled $123 billion.

In total, WTC estimated that the damage from Superman and Zod's fight would total $2 trillion.

The full report is available here and here.

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