“X-Men: Days of Future Past” is a mutant force to be reckoned with.
The seventh installment of Fox’s ever-growing franchise slayed the competition with a $36 million Stateside opening on Friday. This includes $8.1 million from Thursday night screenings.
Meanwhile, Adam Sandler’s “Blended” landed with a thud, debuting to just $4.4 million.
“X-Men” will likely make $91 million in three days and reach $110 million over the four-day Memorial Day weekend, falling short of the highest-grossing film in the series, 2006’s “X-Men: The Last Stand.” “Last Stand” (a.k.a. “X3”) hauled almost $123 million domestically during its four-day Memorial Day opening weekend. It set the Memorial Day holiday record, which has since been topped by “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” and “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.”
If the $110 million estimate pans out, “Days of Future Past” will have the fourth highest Memorial Day opening, behind “Fast & Furious 6,” which earned $117 million last year, and ahead of 2011′s “The Hangover 2.”
The action-adventure is benefiting from rave reviews, which earned it a 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It also has an A CinemaScore.
The sequel touts the franchise’s most star-studded team of mutants to date as it combines the cast of the original “X-Men” trilogy (Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart and Halle Berry) with that of 2011’s “First Class” (Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy). Lawrence’s star power has skyrocketed since 2011’s “First Class” following the mega-success of her other franchise, “The Hunger Games,” and three Oscar noms (one win).
While younger moviegoers are drawn to Lawrence, “X-Men” fans and older audiences are likely flocking to theaters for Jackman’s sake. As the star of two Wolverine spinoffs (the second is set for 2017), he’s the actor most synonymous with the franchise.
It looks like the controversy surrounding director Bryan Singer’s sexual assault lawsuits has not hurt his film at the box office. Singer decided to drop out of all press obligations to not detract from the movie itself.
The film, which cost $200 million to produce, is playing in 3,987 U.S. theaters. It launched day and date in 100 countries, including the U.K., China, Russia and Mexico.
Warner Bros.’ “Blended,” which reunites Sandler and his “50 First Dates” and “Wedding Singer” costar Drew Barrymore for the third time, bombed with $5 million. The pic is directed by Frank Coraci, who also helmed their successful 1998 debut in “The Wedding Singer” ($123 worldwide gross).
“Blended” (A- CinemaScore) will likely gross $18 million by Monday. Unlike most of Sandler’s pics, the movie cost a fairly modest $45 million to make.
Although Sandler’s first-ever sequel, last summer’s “Grown Ups 2,” earned about $247 million worldwide ($134 million Stateside), the actor’s box office power has been waning. In fact, 2012’s “That’s My Boy” and 2011’s “Jack & Jill” earned less than $58 million — not even reaching its $70 million budget — and $150 million worldwide, respectively.
However, the onscreen couple’s last outing, “50 First Dates,” made $197 million in 2004.
Last weekend’s king of the box office, “Godzilla,” came in second place on Friday with $8.8 million. The monster pic’s earnings will likely drop about 60% to $40 million over the four-day period. It looks to cross the $300 million mark worldwide.
“Neighbors” and “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” round out the top five, with $4.2 million and $2 million, respectively. The raunchy frat comedy will likely bring in $17.2 million over the four-day weekend, which would raise its cume to about $116.9 million.
“Spider-Man 2” looks to earn $9.8 million by Monday for an estimated $186.9 total Stateside haul.
Disney’s “Million Dollar Arm” showed incredible hold in its second week with $1.8 million Friday. It stands to reel in $8 million by Sunday, which would mark only a 27% drop.