‘Wolverine’ Claws at Potential $75 mil-$80 mil Opening

Fox tentpole bows day-and-date in 62 international markets

Who needs the X-Men? Wolverine can do boffo all by himself.

As the first movie installment not to include the “X-Men” title, Fox’s “The Wolverine” — the most known of the X-Men mutants — doesn’t appear to need the Marvel name, as the film is expected to gross a whopping $75 million-$80 million domestic debut.

Fox also is giving “The Wolverine” a huge day-and-date blowout, launching the film in 62 markets, including Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Mexico, Russia, South Korea and the U.K.

SEE ALSO: “The Wolverine” review

The pic’s projected $70 million-plus domestic opening could rival some of the franchise’s best previous debuts, including 2009’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” another star vehicle for the Hugh Jackman-portrayed mutant, which earned $85 million during its debut frame. That pic, however, benefited from having the enviable first weekend in May release date.

“X-Men: The Last Stand”  currently has the best opening for the franchise, with $102 million earned during Memorial Day weekend 2006.

From a broader perspective, “The Wolverine” will help keep the summer box office ahead of last year, as this same weekend in 2012 saw soft low-teens openings from “The Watch” and “Step Up Revolution.”

“The Wolverine,” which relocates the clawed immortal to Japan where he faces a deadly battle, is the only wide release this weekend. That’s especially notable since the market place has been so overcrowded of late.

So far, “The Wolverine” has garnered mostly positive reviews, with a 64% rating from critics on RottenTomatoes.

The first “X-Men” opened with $54 million more than a decade ago and went on to earn more than $157 million domestically. In 2011, Fox re-booted the franchise with “X-Men: First Class,” which debuted to $54 million and grossed nearly $150 million Stateside.

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  1. Jeremiah says:

    Perhaps Wolverine could finally resolve his longstanding feud with his frenemy/”brother” Sabretooth. It could have Sabretooth kidnap someone close to Wolverine in the first act (continuing the hazing that Sabretooth has continually given him) and off the person, sufficient to justify Logan cold-bloodingly “popping the third claw” into Sabretooth’s brain. The second act has Logan dealing with this action and perhaps Sabretooth surviving the blow and being rehabilitated as a “good guy.”

  2. Neil says:

    Have just seen the film in the UK this morning and can attest to it being an improvement to Origins – the first and second act are very good but it does loose its way in the final act – that being said I would rate it a solid 7.5/10. Would be surprised to see another stand alone Wolverine film as I don’t really know where they could go with the character. Remember to wait for the end credits – sets up Days of Future Past!!!

  3. Charlie says:

    This is another weekend with an expensive film that has the potential to be huge but the reality is that box office buzz is all over the place and estimates are ranging from 50 to 80 million. We know the fan boy crowd will deliver a big Friday as they always do, but that is no guarantee of a sustaining a huge audience week after week. Most males I have surveyed in the 25-35 age bracket say that the trailer looks really generic, all retread. There’s nothing in the trailer that looks unique to the Wolverine franchise. It’s all “been there, done that” in terms of what the trailer suggests the film will offer, yet again. It leaves one thinking that we may get another bland Wolverine movie with a poorly conceived story, but I hope I’m wrong.

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