Weekend Wrap Up: A Bright Future for the X-Men

Even the most popular and enduring franchises inevitably begin to erode after enough time. Whether it’s because of just plain viewer fatigue, or a bad installment or two, audiences can begin to turn away. However, every now and then, a film series manages to right the ship and reclaim its former box office glory, or at least come close. X-Men: Days of Future Past managed to do that for the X-Men, returning the franchise to heights it hasn’t seen eight years.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

File:X-Men Days of Future Past poster.jpg

DOFP opened to a potent $90.7 million over this Memorial Day weekend. That’s a massive improvement over both The Wolverine ($53 million) and X-Men: First Class ($55 million). Combining the casts from the original trilogy and the prequel, along with adapting one of the most famous and popular stories from the comics, not to mention bringing back fan favorite director Bryan Singer was a formula for success. This debut does fall a bit short of The Last Stand, which premiered to $102 million on this weekend eight years ago. But even still, for a series that was fading, this film is exactly what it needed.

It also helps that DOFP was actually really good. It juggled both timelines very well, and the acting performances and action scenes were fantastic. Word of mouth appears strong, but a movie like this will probably be fairly front-loaded regardless. And also considering this is a holiday weekend and grosses get inflated, DOFP is probably in store for a pretty steep drop next weekend. Still, it should hold better than two other recent movies that opened in the lower $90 millions, Godzilla and The Amazing Spider-Man 2. It’s too early to say, but it’s certainly possible DOFP surpasses The Last Stand‘s $234 million to become the highest grossing of the franchise. I’ll be rooting for it.

You know, I figured the word of mouth for Godzilla was a bit on the tepid side. What I didn’t expect was for it to be outright toxic. The King of Monsters plummeted 66% to $31.4 million. Without the holiday weekend softening the blow, it’s possible the drop could’ve been over 70%. I guess that’s what happens when a movie’s marketing and trailers are noticeably better than the actual film. Godzilla has $148.8 million in the bank after two weeks and at this point, $200 million is far from a guarantee.

Flopping in third, Adam Sandler’s Blended could manage just $14.3 million. The good news is that people might finally be getting tired of Sandler’s shtick. The bad news is that this failure might convince him to make a Grown Ups 3. Neighbors dropped 44% to $14 million. This flick hasn’t really held that well, but its budget was only $18 million and it’s already made several times more than that, so I’m sure no one’s complaining. The Seth Rogen movie has a total of $113.6 million through three weeks.

Continuing its precipitous decline down the ranks, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 dropped 54% to $7.8 million. Even the holiday weekend couldn’t help stabilize Spidey. The wall-crawler has amassed just $185 million and will struggle to crack $200 million. On the plus side, TASM2 is doing very well overseas. Million Dollar Arm posted a decent hold, dropping 33% to $7.1 million. Even still, its soft total is only $20.6 million.

The Other Women fell 42% and pulled in $3.7 million. The surprise hit has raked in $77.8 million. Down 33%, Rio 2 grossed $2.5 million and raised its total to $121.6 million. Chef comes in at number nine, and I know nothing about besides the title and the fact it was directed of John Favreau (of Iron Man fame). It pulled in $2.3 million this weekend. The final spot in the top ten went to Heaven is for Real, which fell a harsh 56% down to $2 million. Even still, it’s pulled in a very impressive $85.8 million.

Thanks to Days of Future Past, this was overall a strong box office weekend, although it couldn’t even come close to last weekend, when the box office was even more crowded and led by the $97 million debut of Fast and Furious 6. Next weekend continues our jam-packed May as we see the openings of A Million Ways to Die in the West and Maleficent, which barring an almost unthinkably small opening and fantastically good hold by DOFP, should fairly easily lead the box office next weekend. And as always, I’ll be back to cover it. Until we meet again.

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