Mutants swamp “Godzilla” in U.S. as Adam Sandler-Drew Barrymore comedy “Blended” tanks
“X-Men: Days of Future Past” steamrolled the competition on its way to an estimated $90.7 million three-day Memorial Day weekend haul in North America, and added a huge $171 million from overseas for a whopping $261 million first weekend globally.
Fox’s Marvel Comics-based mutant mashup still has Monday to go, and should wind up with around $107 million domestically over the long holiday weekend. Last week’s No. 1 movie, “Godzilla,” was running a distant second with an estimated $30.5 million, and a likely $39 million for the four days. The weekend’s only other wide opener, the Adam Sandler-Drew Barrymore comedy “Blended,” failed to ignite and was battling “Neighbors” for third place with around $14 million for the three days.
Fox rolled out “Days of Future Past,” which was produced for $200 million, in 100 foreign countries this weekend, including China, the U.K., Russia and Mexico. It’s the highest-grossing opening weekend ever for an “X-Men” movie globally, and is the studio’s biggest international opening ever, ahead of “Avatar.”
It’s the fifth time in the last eight weeks that a Marvel Comics-based movie has topped the U.S. box office, coming on the heels of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” which had a three-week run at No. 1 in April, and “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” which kicked off summer on top earlier this month. Neither the Marvel superheroes nor “Godzilla” have been able to crack the $100 million mark with their openings however, though all have topped $90 million.
The domestic opening for “Days of Future Past” is the second-best in the 14-year-old franchise’s history, behind only “X-Men: The Last Stand,” which brought in $102 million over three days on Memorial Day weekend in 2006, and $122.8 million over the four days.
Fox marketers made the most of the time-travel plot of “Days of Future Past,” highlighting the combined casts of the original “X-Men” trilogy with the 2011 reboot “X-Men: First Class.” Hugh Jackman and Jennifer Lawrence top an ensemble that includes James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Nicholas Hoult, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen and Peter Dinklage. Simon Kinberg, Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn are the writers.
The critics were sold (91 percent positive on Rotten Tomatoes) and audiences have been too, awarding it an “A” CinemaScore. Director Bryan Singer largely skipped the promotional push on the film, and concerns that his legal problems would hurt the film commercially evaporated.
Lauren Shuler Donner and Hutch Parker produced “Days of Future Past,” along with Kinberg and Singer, who directed the first two “X-Men” movies.
Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros.’ “Godzilla” took a considerable 67 percent second-week drop from its $93 million debut last weekend, and becomes the fourth movie in a row to be No. 1 and done after a week on top, following “The Other Woman,” “Amazing Spider-Man 2” and “Neighbors.”
It was in 3,952 theaters, nearly as many as the 3,996 as “X-Men,” and all of the Imax theaters. But its per-screen average was less than half of the $7,365 that the mutants managed. Still, “Godzilla” has taken in $156 million domestically and more than $300 million in just two weekends.
The PG-13-rated “Blended,” which re-teamed the two stars from “The Wedding Singer” and “50 First Dates,” failed to connect with critics (15 percent positive on Rotten Tomatoes). It did better with moviegoers, who gave it an “A-” CinemaScore, but not enough of them turned out to make “Blended” a hit.
It was produced for around $45 million, so it’s not a financial disaster for Warner Bros. or Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions, but it’s among Sandler’s worst openings ever. It’s a little over the $13.4 million “That’s My Boy” managed in 2012, but way under the $25 million that “Jack and Jill” debuted to in 2011. And it wasn’t even half of the $39.8 million that “50 First Dates” opened to, but that was a decade ago.
The R-rated comedy “Neighbors” is up to $117 million domestically, and with $67 million from abroad, the Seth Rogen-Zac Efron frat vs. family romp is up to $181 million worldwide for Universal.
“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” and Disney’s “Million Dollar Arm” were fifth and sixth.
Sony’s Marvel superhero sequel will take in just under $8 million for the three days and around $10 million for the four days, which would raise its domestic total to more than $185 million. With another $11.2 million from overseas this weekend, the Columbia Pictures release is the highest-grossing film of the year internationally with $489 million, and its global total is a whopping $675 million after four weeks.
The Jon Hamm baseball movie should come in at around $8 million for the four days, which would put it at $22 million domestically after two weeks.
“The Other Woman” and the animated musical “Rio 2,” both from Fox were next, followed by Open Road’s “Chef.” The Jon Favreau food truck comedy broke into the top ten in its expansion into 498 theaters and is looking at nearly $3 million for the four days. It’s per-screen average was $5,830, better than any movie except the two leaders.
Overall, the holiday weekend was running well behind last year’s, when “Fast and Furious 6” brought in $117 million over the four days to beat out “The Hangover Part III,” which took in $50 million.