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Weekend Report: 'X-Men' Rules Memorial Day, Falls Short of Franchise Record

by Ray Subers
X-Men: Days of Future Past
 

 
May 25, 2014

X-Men: Days of Future Past dominated the box office over Memorial Day weekend, though it fell short of setting a new record for the 14-year-old franchise. Meanwhile, Adam Sandler's Blended bombed.

X-Men also opened day-and-date in most foreign markets and earned a phenomenal $171.1 million. By next weekend, it will pass The Wolverine ($282 million) to become the highest-grossing X-Men movie ever. For more details, see the Around-the-World Roundup below.

Playing at nearly 4,000 locations, X-Men: Days of Future Past earned $90.8 million over the three-day weekend. Among recent superhero movies, that's a bit lower than Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($95 million) and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 ($91.6 million).

Among X-Men movies, it ranks second all-time behind X-Men: The Last Stand ($102.8 million), which opened on the same weekend eight years ago. It also sold fewer tickets than 2D-only entries X2: X-Men United and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Still, it was nearly $40 million higher than last Summer's The Wolverine, and was also a massive improvement over X-Men: First Class ($55.1 million).

For the four-day weekend, Days of Future Past earned $110.6 million. That ranks fifth all-time for Memorial Day weekend, but is around $12 million lower than The Last Stand.

With eight years of ticket price inflation and the addition of 3D premiums, it does feel like Days of Future Past should have been able to match The Last Stand. Unfortunately, The Last Stand arrived in theaters when the X-Men were still near the top of the comic book food chain. Now, they're merely one group in an increasingly crowded field (the same goes for Spider-Man).

Still, this is among the best openings of the year, and is a significant step up from the last two X-Men outings. By combining the original cast with the First Class crew—and using fan favorite Wolverine to bridge the gap—X-Men: Days of Future Past did manage to stand out from previous entries. Previews clearly outlined the high stakes ("The World's Greatest Threat Faces the World's Greatest Team") and provided enough big-budget spectacle to make this seem like an exciting addition to the superhero genre.

The audience for X-Men was 56 percent male and 59 percent over the age of 25. They awarded the movie a very good "A" CinemaScore.

The X-Men franchise is typically very front-loaded, though there's reason to believe that Days of Future Past might buck this trend. It's received strong reviews (91 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) and good word-of-mouth, and competition in the next few weeks isn't too bad. It should have no problem getting to $225 million, and could even come close to $250 million.

In second place, Godzilla plummeted 67 percent to $30.9 million ($38.4 million four-day). While that decline is a bit better than Cloverfield's 68 percent, it's still much worse than most comparable titles. Thanks to strong marketing, moviegoers rushed out last weekend; unfortunately, the movie they saw wasn't exactly what was advertised. Combine that weak word-of-mouth with tough competition from X-Men, and a steep drop was in order. The movie has now earned $155.8 million, and is on pace to finish between $200 and $220 million.

Blended
flopped with a weak $14.3 million this weekend ($17.7 million four-day). That's over $10 million less than Adam Sandler's 2011 disappointment Jack and Jill ($25 million), and is only a bit higher than 2012 bomb That's My Boy ($13.5 million).

There was an expectation that reuniting Sandler with 50 First Dates/The Wedding Singer co-star Drew Barrymore would be enough to generate solid ticket sales. Unfortunately, the movie lacked an appealing story, and previews were light on strong jokes.

Sandler has been coasting on goodwill for a while, and his fan base does appear to be shrinking. It doesn't help that Sandler seems to hold that audience in such contempt: on Jimmy Kimmel Live this week, he appeared to admit that he made Blended simply so he could take a vacation.

According to Warner Bros., the audience for Blended was 56 percent female and 74 percent over the age of 25. That data suggests that families weren't a big part of the audience this weekend. The movie received an "A-" CinemaScore; Sandler's movies typically hold well, so a final total north of $50 million is likely.

In fourth place, Neighbors fell 44 percent to $14.02 million ($17.1 million four-day). The Seth Rogen/Zac Efron comedy has now earned $116.8 million total.

Against tough competition from X-Men, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 fell 54 percent to $7.8 million ($10 million four-day). So far, the superhero sequel has earned $187.1 million, and is on track to finish between $200 and $203 million.

Jon Favreau's Chef expanded to 498 locations and earned a solid $2.27 million ($2.98 million four-day). Meanwhile, Fox Searchlight's Belle expanded to 453 theaters and grossed $1.65 million ($2.18 million four-day).

Around-the-World Roundup


At 118 countries, X-Men: Days of Future Past opened to a massive $171.1 million overseas this weekend. According to Fox, it earned more across the same bucket of territories than The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

The movie's biggest market was China, where it earned $37.7 million in its first three days. That's about even with Captain America, which has grossed over $120 million total there. This gigantic result in China is likely due in part to the inclusion of Chinese superstar Bingbing Fan, and the fact that most of the "future" section of the movie is set in China.

Days of Future Past
also had the biggest debut ever for a Fox movie in 11 markets, including South Korea ($13.5 million), Brazil ($8 million), the Philippines ($3.9 million) and India ($3.9 million). Other major markets included U.K. ($14.2 million), France ($10.6 million), Mexico ($10.4 million), Russia ($10.3 million), Australia ($7.7 million) and Germany ($4.7 million).

By next weekend, Days of Future Past will be the highest-grossing X-Men movie ever ahead of The Wolverine ($282 million). With Japan and Spain still on the way, it's hard to imagine Days of Future Past falling short of $400 million total.

Godzilla
added $34.5 million overseas, which is a massive 67 percent decline from last weekend. Its biggest market was the U.K. with $4.3 million. So far, the movie has earned $166.6 million, and will ultimately get past $200 million from its existing territories. It's going to need huge results from China and Japan to get anywhere close to $400 million overseas.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2
earned $11.2 million this weekend, bringing its total to $489 million. It will pass the first Amazing Spider-Man ($490.2 million) in the next day or two.

Frozen
held on to first place in Japan for the 11th weekend in a row. The movie now ranks fourth all-time there with $193.7 million. On a worldwide basis, it passed Iron Man 3 to become the top movie from 2013 and the fifth-biggest all-time. To date, the animated sensation has earned $1.22 billion.

Discuss this story with fellow Box Office Mojo fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @boxofficemojo, and follow author Ray Subers at @raysubers.

This Weekend's Forecast:
• Forecast: 'X-Men' Targets $100 Million Memorial Day Debut

This Weekend in Past Years:
• 2012 - 'MIB 3' Beats 'Avengers' With Solid Memorial Debut
• 2011 - 'Hangover' Gets Higher with Sequel, 'Panda' Loses Weight
• 2010 - 'Sex,' 'Prince' Deserted as 'Shrek' Leads Weak Memorial Weekend
• 2009 - 'Night at the Museum,' 'Terminator' Dominate
• 2008 - 'Indy' Whips Up Massive Start
• 2007 - Third 'Pirates' Sacks Memorial Record
• 2006 - 'X-Men' Marvels with Memorial Record
• 2005 - 'Star Wars' Edges Out Computerized Critters and Secondhand Convicts

Related Charts
• Weekend Box Office Results
• All-Time Domestic
• All-Time Memorial Day Openings



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