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Weekend Box Office: First Class Takes First Place

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By Chris Kavan - 06/05/11 at 09:27 PM CT

While it may come as no surprise that X-Men: First Class ended up at the top of the box office for the weekend with $56 million, the bigger surprise is that despite garnering some of the best praise for the series, it ended up making the least amount of money since the first film opened in 2000 with $54.5 million.

While being a bit of a critical letdown, X-Men Origins Wolverine brought in $85.1 million in its debut. Even Thor managed to bring in $65.7 million (though its numbers are inflated thanks to 3D showings). Still, don't count out X-Men yet - if it can muster up enough good word of mouth and ride its critical reception, it could still end up making back its $160 million.

In second place The Hangover Part II suffered the biggest drop of the week, taking a 62% hit. Still, it made an additional $32.4 million and now stands at $186.8 million - the second-highest grossing R-rated film behind The Matrix Reloaded. It should surpass the $200 million mark and zoom past Fast Five to become the highest grossing film of 2011 in the coming weeks. Despite being critically panned, you better believe a Hangover 3 is in the works.

In third, Kung Fu Panda II dropped 49% and crossed the $100 million mark taking in another $24.3 million. This was a bigger drop than most other animated films, including Madagascar and the Shrek films and its 3D continued to be a small factor, accounting for only 44% of its gross.

Another films approached the $200 million club was the 4th-place Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which took in another $18 million (down 55%) and now stands at $190.3 million. The first film to pass the $200 million in 2011 belongs to Fast Five, which took 37 days to accomplish that feat. The 7th-place film took in $3.2 million and now stands at $202 million though I feel its reign as the top-grossing movie of the year will come to an end soon.

Finally, Bridesmaids once again managed to hold on to the biggest chunk of its audience. It was only down a light 27% and took 5th-place with $12.1 million and easily passed the $100 million mark with a $107.3 million total - which looks stellar next to its $32.5 million cost.

Still playing in only limited releases, Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris took in nearly as much as Fast Five despite playing in over 2,000 fewer theaters. At just 147 locations, the $2.9 million 8th-place showing, and nearly $7 million total gross has already done better than Allen's last two films (You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger and Whatever Works) - the big test comes June 10th when it finally opens to a nationwide audience.

Next week brings us the secretive alien thriller Super 8 and the family film Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer. I have a feeling the aliens are going to win the box office battle.

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