Arizona wins contest to host the film's launch

HOLLYWOOD — If there’s a spectrum for premieres, Fox spanned it this week with launches for “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” on Monday in Tempe, Ariz., and Tuesday at the Chinese Theater.

Tempe (whose citizens won an online contest to host the premiere) had more screaming fans and Alice Cooper; Los Angeles had more paparazzi and an unexpected appearance by Mel Gibson and g.f. Oksana Grigorieva.

Helmer Gavin Hood said being with fans and “not watching it in a town full of film students” made the Tempe preem enjoyable. Producer Lauren Shuler Donner echoed the sentiment, saying, “There was no one rooting against us” in Arizona.

In Los Angeles, Fox co-topper Tom Rothman called the film “emotionally substantive with broad playability,” while co-topper Jim Gianopulos saw B.O. gold.

“This is the start of an incredibly great summer,” said Gianopulos. “Certainly for us and I hope for the rest of the industry.”

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