Box Office Guru

Box Office Guru Wrapup: X-Men Is First Class

The Hangover Part II and Kung Fu Panda 2 round out the top three.

by | June 6, 2011 | Comments

This weekend Fox rebooted its mutant super hero franchise and scored a top spot launch with the comic book pic X-Men: First Class which stood as the frame’s only new wide release. The PG-13 film debuted to an estimated $56M over the weekend from 3,641 theaters for a solid $15,380 average. It was in line with other Marvel super hero films of the same type, most notably 2008’s reboot The Incredible Hulk which debuted to $55.4M in June of that summer. Both followed films that were widely disliked and featured new directors, cast, and storylines in hopes of winning back fans.

First Class also reached about the same number of people as last month’s Thor which bowed to $65.7M which included higher-priced tickets from 3D and IMAX screens that helped to boost the grosses. Take out those extra fees and the two films were very close in opening weekend sales. The new X-Men was only presented in 2D and lacked any big star names that would attract a broader crowd like Thor‘s Natalie Portman and Anthony Hopkins.

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The new tale that documented the origins of Professor Charles Xavier and Magneto played to an adult male crowd. Studio research showed that 58% of the audience was male while 54% was over 25. Reviews were terrific while the CinemaScore grade from paying moviegoers was just a decent B+.

First Class attacked most of the international marketplace this weekend and hauled in an estimated $64M from 74 territories for a robust $120M worldwide debut. The first four X-Men films showed steady growth in the international share of the global total and the latest installment is continuing that trend with 53% of its global opening coming from overseas this weekend.

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Following its record-breaking holiday opening, the comedy sequel The Hangover Part II tumbled 62% in its second weekend to an estimated $32.4M lifting the 11-day total to a hefty $186.9M. The drop was understandable given the upfront demand for the Warner Bros. film and the fact that it was coming off of a holiday. The Bangkok-set film is on track to finish in the neighborhood of $250M. Overseas, the Hangover pic took in an estimated $62M thanks to new openings in Germany and Russia. The international cume rose to $151.5M while the worldwide tally stands at $338.4M.

Kung Fu Panda 2, the other sequel that launched over Memorial Day weekend, grossed an estimated $24.3M falling by a moderate 49%. Paramount has banked $100.4M after 11 days and looks headed for the $160M vicinity from North America. Overseas, the Jack Black vehicle took in an estimated $40M giving the 3D toon an international total of $125M and $225.4M worldwide.

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Continuing with its rapid erosion domestically and hefty numbers overseas was Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides which approached the $800M global mark. The Johnny Depp adventure fell 55% to an estimated $18M for a North American cume of $190.3M. The international take was still huge with $69.4M this weekend bumping the massive total to $600.4M. Worldwide, the latest Pirates is at a towering $790.7M with a hearty 76% coming from offshore.

Kristin Wiig scored her first $100M+ grosser as a lead with Bridesmaids which still showed fabulous legs with an estimated $12.1M, off only 27%, for a $107.3M total. Universal’s sleeper hit now looks likely to reach $140M if not more.

The pair of action hits that kicked off the summer movie season followed. Paramount’s Thor dropped 56% to an estimated $4.2M while Universal’s Fast Five grabbed an estimated $3.2M falling 49%. Totals are now $169.1M domestic and $427.1M worldwide for the super hero flick and $202.1M and $568.6M for the racing sequel.

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Still doing stellar business in limited release was Woody Allen’s indie comedy Midnight in Paris which is expanding nicely with an estimated $2.9M from 147 playdates. The Sony Classics film averaged $19,837 and raised its sum to $6.9M with many more markets yet to open.

Wedding comedies that have been side-by-side on the charts rounded out the top ten. Sony’s Jumping the Broom grossed an estimated $865,000, down 53%, while Something Borrowed fell 55% to an estimated $835,000 for Warner Bros. Cumes are $35.9M and $36.7M, respectively.

Opening to good results in platform release was the Ewan McGregor pic Beginners which bowed to an estimated $135,000 from only five sites for a $27,000 average. Focus will expand throughout June. Fox Searchlight saw a strong expansion for its Terence Malick film The Tree of Life which widened from four to 20 theaters for a weekend estimate of $621,000 and a solid average of $31,050. Total is $1.3M.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $154.9M which was up a healthy 29% from last year when Shrek Forever After remained in the top spot for a third time with $25.5M; but off 2% from 2009 when The Hangover debuted at number one with $45M.


Author: Gitesh Pandya, Box Office Guru!