'First Class' midnight grosses track toward $60 mil

“X-Men: First Class” got off to a hot start Thursday with midnight grosses tallying $3.375 million, putting it on track for the $60 million range — well past Twentieth Century Fox’s original modest expectations.

Studio originally counted on the high-$40 million mark for its comicbook prequel bowing this weekend in 3,641 locations, but critics’ love and strong word of mouth have the film on track to collect between $20 million-$24 million in Friday showings.

Add in those Thursday midnight totals from 1,783 locations nationwide, and it’s looking like “First Class” has a shot at besting “Thor.”

In fact, “First Class” has already outpaced Paramount’s “Thor” in midnight grosses. That pic scored $3.25 million from late-night earnings and went on to gross $65.7 million during its opening weekend.

“Thor” beat “First Class” in midnight pre-sales when it bowed May 6, but the God of Thunder had Imax — a significant contributor to advanced ticket sales — on its side. The fact that “First Class” ultimately outdid “Thor” in midnights means that the Fox pic likely had better-than-average walk-ups Thursday night.

Pic already is off to a fantastic start in New York, with matinees totaling $1 million and good weather slowing traffic for most pics, except for “First Class.” “The Hangover Part II” earned $1.8 million by this time last week in Gotham — a good sign for “First Class” — though “Hangover II” bowed on a Thursday, when most first-responders attended.

And like the Warner Bros. laffer, “First Class” is a double threat when it expands Friday to total U.S. engagements, with terrific interest among men and strong tracking with women.

Want Entertainment News First? Sign up for Variety Alerts and Newsletters!
Post A Comment 0