“X-Men: Days of Future Past” got a jump on Memorial Day weekend, grossing a terrific $8.1 million in late night shows on Thursday, according to studio estimates. It marks the highest late night debut in the series’ 14-year history.
The fifth film in 20th Century Fox’s mutant franchise is on track to rack up north of $100 million over the four-day holiday. It will open in just shy of 4,000 locations, more than 350 of which are large screen formats (but not Imax theaters, which will screen “Godzilla”).
Screenings on Thursday began at 10 p.m. in 2,900 theaters.
By way of contrast, “X-Men: The Last Stand,” the highest-grossing film in franchise history, racked up $5.9 million in midnight screenings in 2006, en route to a $122 million Memorial Day opening. “X-Men: First Class,” the most recent film in the series, grossed an estimated $3.4 million in midnight runs at the domestic box office in 2011, while spinoff “The Wolverine” enjoyed a $4 million late night bow last summer.
“X-Men: Days of Future Past” unites several generations of mutants in a story that finds the heroes bending space and time to face off against an existential threat. It returns Hugh Jackman to the “X-Men” family after two solo outings and benefits from the higher profile of co-star Jennifer Lawrence following her Oscar win and leading role in “The Hunger Games” films. Reviews have been strong and the picture currently holds a 92% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Internationally, the film will debut day-and-date in more than 100 territories, which should result in a massive global haul.