'Break-Up' takes a stand against Marvel mania

Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn won’t be able to break the mutants’ hold on the box office this weekend.

With “X-Men: the Last Stand” a lock on first place even if it falls as much as 60%, Universal is just hoping “The Break-Up” won’t be too far behind.

Thanks in part to public attention on the stars’ personal relationship, pic is on track to have a strong bow for a romantic comedy.

Tracking is similar to that of March’s “Failure to Launch,” which opened to $24.4 million. “Break-Up,” which opens at 3,067 playdates, should do at least that well.

The wildcard is males. Pic is tracking very well with women, the typical aud for a romantic comedy. But interest is a little higher than normal among men, most likely due to presence of Vaughn.

If a sizable number who aren’t dragged by girlfriends and wives turn out, pic could bow as high as the low 30s. Last summer, Vaughn starrer “The Wedding Crashers” opened to $33.9 million in July before a very long run that brought its cume over $200 million.

“I would hope we could get the Vince Vaughn fans as well as the romantic comedy audience,” said U distrib prexy Nikki Rocco.

Pic opens next weekend in Australia and New Zealand, followed by Russia and Holland on June 15, France and Belgium on June 21, Greece on June 22 and Brazil on June 30.

But UIP is holding off on Germany, Spain, Italy and the U.K. until late summer.

Fox, meanwhile, is bracing for “X-Men” to take a sizable drop from its $103 million three-day opening. Pic declined each day over the holiday weekend Friday through Monday.

Weekday grosses were $7.3 million Tuesday and $5.8 million Wednesday — solid, but nothing to brag about after a $45.5 million opening Friday, the second highest single-day gross in Hollywood history.

“Last Stand” likely will drop more than 50% and see a gross in the 40s, sending the cume past $180 million.

Only tight race this weekend should be for third place. “The Da Vinci Code” more than doubled perf of “Over the Hedge” two weeks ago when both bowed. But Sony’s lit adaptation fell 56% in its second frame, while “Hedge” declined only 30%. If that trend continues, both pics will gross mid- to high-teens this weekend.

In limited release, Paramount Classics is expanding Al Gore global-warming docu “An Inconvenient Truth” to 77 theaters in the top 10 markets after a boffo bow at four plays in L.A. and Gotham last frame.

Magnolia debuts French sci-fi actioner “District B-13″ at 96 theaters.

Lionsgate is opening “Peaceful Warrior,” based on the classic semi-autobiographical New Age novel, at 10 playdates.

“Typhoon,” a South Korean actioner acquired by DreamWorks in December, will hit 24 theaters courtesy of Paramount Classics. It’s the first Korean production released by a U.S. major.

(Dave McNary contributed to this report.)

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