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Weekend Wrap-Up

X-Men Sizzles as Box Office Enjoys another $90m+ Opener

By John Hamann

May 25, 2014

She just took those clothes from the American Hustle set.

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The star-studded cast of X-Men stormed into summer frame #4 at the box office this weekend, on the heels of a humongous Godzilla at $93.2 million, an amazing $92 million opening for Spider-Man 2, and leader of the current pack, Captain America: The Winter Solider, at $95 million. X-Men: Days of Future Past debuted with more than $90 million over the Friday-to-Sunday portion of the Memorial Day weekend, and becomes the fourth film to do so over an eight-week period.

Sony should takes notes this weekend, as 20th Century Fox, Bryan Singer and the X-Men demonstrate perfectly how to reboot a comic series franchise. Spider-Man this is not. Following the out-of-hand good X-Men: First Class, where Fox and the franchise took a risk and introduced about a dozen new faces to its canon at a cost of $160 million, that investment pays off this weekend, as X-Men: Days of Future Past explodes at the box office over the Memorial Day frame. The reboot may have faced a loss for 20th Century Fox, as it earned $353 million worldwide against that monstrous $160 million budget, as it likely needed at least $400 million to be in the black. What it did do was make some great casting decisions, specifically Michael Fassbender in the Magneto role, and Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique.




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Since First Class, Fassbender made Shame, Prometheus and 12 Years a Slave. Lawrence made a little film called The Hunger Games and its sequel, won an Oscar for Silver Linings Playbook and was nominated for the $100 million plus winner American Hustle. Days of Future Past brings a great predecessor to the table, maybe one of the best casts ever assembled, is 91% fresh, and opens on Memorial Day Weekend – how did you think it was going to do?

X-Men: Days of Future Past got started on Thursday night with a bang, earning a powerful $8.1 million. Why is that a strong number when Godzilla did $9.3 million and Spider-Man 2 did $8.7 million? Because Days of Future Past didn’t start on Thursday until 10 p.m., compared to Godzilla's 7 p.m. start, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2's debut at 8 p.m.. Both Godzilla and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 had the benefit of two screenings on Thursday night, whereas X-Men only had one. Additionally, the latest incarnation of Wolverine had a Thursday preview of $4 million – also starting at 10 p.m. – and earned $53.1 million over its opening weekend. The Friday number (with Thursday previews included) came in at $36 million, right in the neighborhood of Godzilla ($38.4 million), Spider-Man 2 ($35.2 million) and Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($36.9 million). Knowing that both Godzilla and Spidey 2 had higher Thursdays, and that X-Men was going to have a solid Sunday given the long weekend, corks would have been popping at Fox, as the writing for a huge debut was on the wall. It took the previous X-Men movie until Saturday night to earn the same amount as this one did on Friday, as it finished Saturday with $41.1 million.


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