Mutant superhero movie X-Men: Days of Future Past powered to $302 million in worldwide ticket sales through the U.S. Memorial Day holiday on Monday, May 26, capping a weekend in which it surpassed Avatar as the biggest global debut for film studio 20th Century Fox.
The seventh installment in the X-Men franchise topped U.S. and Canadian movie charts with $111.0 million from Friday through Monday, according to estimates from tracking firm Rentrak. The film earned an additional $191.0 million at theaters around the world, Fox said.
The X-Men sequel was boosted by strong reviews, including a 91 percent positive rating on the Rotten Tomatoes website, and an A grade in audience polling by CinemaScore, Fox executives said. The film drew an ethnically diverse audience that was 56 per cent male and 44 per cent female, said Spencer Klein, senior vice president and general sales manager for 20th Century Fox, a unit of 21st Century Fox.
“The movie broadened out to a general audience,” he said.
From Friday through Sunday, X-Men racked up global ticket sales that beat the December 2009 debut of Fox’s Avatar, the sci-fi adventure that started with $241.5 million worldwide and became the best-selling movie of all time, grossing $2.8 billion, according to Box Office Mojo. X-Men collected global sales of $261.8 million over its first three days in 119 territories, including $37.7 million in China, the world’s second-largest film market. Avatar did not open in China during its first weekend of release.
In the latest installment in the Marvel Comics series, Hugh Jackman’s sharp-clawed Wolverine travels back in time to try and save the mutants from future destruction. To alter history, he is drawn into battle with the blue, shape-shifting Mystique, portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence in the $200 million production. The film had to contend with a dose of unwelcome publicity after two men accused director Bryan Singer of sexually abusing them as teenagers, charges he denies. The stampede of X-Men knocked monster hit Godzilla to second place at U.S. and Canadian theaters. The remake of the 1954 Japanese film took in $39.4 million domestically from Friday through Monday, and brought its global total to $324.5 million, according to Warner Bros., which produced Godzilla with Legendary Pictures.
New romantic comedy Blended came in third, falling short of forecasts with $18.2 million in domestic ticket sales through Monday. The movie stars Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler as single parents on vacation with their kids at an African resort.
Seth Rogen comedy Neighbors landed in fourth place with $17.2 million, ahead of superhero sequel The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in the No. 5 slot with $10.0 million. Time Warner Inc’s Warner Bros. distributed Godzilla and Blended. Comcast Corp’s Universal Pictures released Neighbors. Sony Corp’s movie studio distributed Spider-Man 2.
Star Wars spin-off to be directed by Godzilla film-maker
With J.J. Abrams kicking off the first of three new Star Wars films, Disney has announced that Godzilla film-maker, Gareth Edwards will direct a separate spin-off installment of the franchise, scheduled for December 2016.
The yet-to-be-titled Star Wars film, which is being written by The Book of Eli screenwriter Gary Whitta, is being described as a stand-alone movie in addition to the next three installments beginning with Abrams’s Star Wars: Episode VII, to be released in December 2015.
British director Edwards made his feature film debut with his re-imagining of Godzilla, which stormed the North American box-office with $93.2 million in sales over the past weekend. Walt Disney Co purchased Star Wars creator George Lucas’s production company LucasFilm for $4.05 billion in 2012 and announced it would release spin-off films between the releases of three new films in the popular sci-fi series.