‘The Wolverine’ Dominating Box Office, But May Not Hit $60M

Hugh Jackman's superhero sequel takes in $21 million Friday and gets "A-" CinemaScore

Last Updated: July 24, 2014 @ 11:43 AM

Hugh Jackman and "The Wolverine" dominated Friday with more than $21 million and will easily win the weekend box office race, but Fox's superhero saga isn't tearing it up and will likely finish the three days in the $56 million range.

That's a little less than the studio had hoped for and under analysts' projections, and it won't come close to matching the $85 million three-day debut 2009's "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," which went on to take in $180 million domestically.

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Still, it's the best live-action opening since "The Man of Steel" debuted to $116 million back in June, and breaks a four-week run in which big-budget movies "White House Down," "The Lone Ranger," "Pacific Rim" and "R.I.P.D." all disappointed. And "The Wolverine" will be a force overseas this weekend, where it is opening in 126 countries – every major market except Japan and China.

First-night audiendes gave it an "A-" CinemaScore, so that should help word of mouth on Saturday and Sunday. It has a 68 percent positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The PG-13-rated "The Wolverine" is the first of Fox's Marvel movies to be released in 3D, which was available on 3,063 of its market-high 3,924 theaters. The Friday figure was swelled by a $4 million haul from Thursday late shows.

Last week’s No. 1 movie, Warner Bros.' "The Conjuring" was running second, after bringing in $7.3 million Friday. That puts it on pace for a $22 million second weekend, which would be an unusually small 46 percent drop-off for a horror film.

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Universal's "Despicable Me 2” was holding even better than that in its fourth weekend. It brought in $4.8 million Friday and is looking at $16.2 million for the three days, which would be just 35 percent fall from last week. It overall domestic total is now at $306 million, and it has taken in more than $615 million worldwide.

It continued to outpace DreamWorks Animation's family film "Turbo," which was holding well, too. The Fox-distributed snail tale is on pace for a $13.3 million second weekend after bringing in just over $4 million Friday, which would be a drop of just 37 percent from last week.

Sony's Adam Sandler comedy "Grown Ups 2" was showing staying power, too. It took in $3.6 million Friday and is looking at an $11 million third week, and could cross the $100 million mark domestically by Sunday.

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The overall weekend is running roughly 28 percent of last year’s comparable weekend, when "The Dark Knight Rises" repeated as No. 1.

Summit's "Red 2" was on its way to a second week in the $9 million range after taking in $2.7 million Friday. That would be a roughly 50 percent drop from last week. 

Guillermo del Toro's giant robots epic "Pacific Rim" followed and is on pace for a $7.4 million third week for Warner Bros., just ahead of Fox's Melissa McCarthy-Sandra Bullock comedy, which is on track for a $6.7 million fifth week for Fox. Universal’s "R.I.P.D." will follow at around $5.7 million.

The Weinstein Company went from 34 theaters to 1,064 with "Fruitvale Station" for this weekend. It brought in $1.4 million Friday and is looking at $4.2 million for the three days.

First-time director Ryan Coogler's drama is about the last day in the life of 22-year-old Oscar Grant , who was fatally shot by a guard after an altercation on a BART train in Oakland, Calif., on New Year's Day, 2009.

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