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Memorial Day Weekend Box Office: X-Men Dominates Competition

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By Chris Kavan - 05/26/14 at 11:08 PM CT

Once again, the outcome of the long weekend wasn't in question - the only thing we didn't know was how good it was going to get. The X-Men may not have broken a franchise record, but that doesn't matter, as the high domestic gross and even stronger international opening means we'll be seeing a lot more mutants in the future. Meanwhile, Adam Sandler continued his downward spiral as not even help from Drew Barrymore could save his latest film. It wasn't a record-setting Memorial Day Weekend, but it was near the top.


The latest X-Men film scored a fantastic $91.4 million opening ($111 for the four-day weekend). That total is down slightly from 2014 super hero films Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($95 million) and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 ($91.6 million) - and it is also second for the franchise behind X-Men: The Last Stand ($102.8 million). However, compared to recent entries, it was a huge leap forward, as X-Men: First Class opened to $55.1 million and The Wolverine only opened to $53.1 million. The Memorial Day showing was also the fifth-highest on record but likewise trailed The Last Stand by about $12 million. It does seem like the movie should have had a somewhat higher opening - as it gained a great critical reception (91% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes) and audiences awarded it an "A" Cinemeascore. The movie was attended by mostly male (56%) and 59% over 25. X-Men films have been typically front-loaded, but there is reason to believe this one might hold up better compared to past titles given the combination of word-of-mouth and critical reception - it also faces somewhat light competition (Maleficent and Edge of Tomorrow will be the biggest movies in the next two weeks), so it should have a great run - nearing the $250 million mark is probable. But if the domestic total was a little on the low side, on the international market, it was a home run. With $171.1 million (across almost all markets) it posted a better total than both Captain America and Spider-Man and will have no problem becoming the highest-grossing X-Men film (topping The Wolverine's $282 million) within a week or so. And since the global market is becoming just as important (if not moreso) than the domestic total, I don't think franchise has anything to worry about.


Due to the overwhelming opening of X-Men: Days of Future Past, Godzilla took a monster hit, dropping 67% in its second weekend to $31.1 million ($39.4 million for the holiday weekend). That gave the film a new total of $156.8 million. That is just slightly better than the 68% drop Cloverfield weathered, but is a bit steeper than most comparable titles. Still, there should be plenty of gas left and a total north of $225 million is expected - well ahead of its $160 million budget. The film had a lot of buzz going for it - but in the end, I think a lot of people were expecting a more straight-up monster movie - and given how long it took for Godzilla to show up, a bit of ill will may have spilled over. I, for one, still thought it was a great movie - but it may not have been quite the movie others were looking for.


If it was a banner weekend for the X-Men, it was probably one that Adam Sandler would rather forget. The man has been coasting by on good will for awhile, but no one can get by on that forever and though it has been catching up, maybe it's time for him to try something different. Not even pairing back up with Drew Barrymore could save Blended - at $14.2 million ($18.1 for the holiday weekend) it was well below the disappointing Jack and Jill ($25 million) and on par with 2012 bomb That's My Boy ($13.5 million). Ever since viewing the first trailer - I knew this movie was in trouble. The jokes were lame, the story cliche and it just felt like it was a warmed-over attempt to court the family crowd. But families didn't show up - as the crowd ran mostly female (56%) and decidedly older (74% over 25). They did give the film a decent "A-" and Sandler films do tend to hold up better than would be expected, so a total of around $50 million might not be out of the question, though if things don't play out well, it could find itself struggling to top $35 million.


The frat-tastic comedy dipped 44.6% and dropped a couple of spots in the process. Taking in $13.9 million ($17.2 for the four-day weekend), Neighbors moved its total up to $116.9 million and should be able to cross the $125 million mark by next weekend - seven times its modest $18 million budget. That's got to be good news for the studio.


Also dropping a couple of spots was The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (down 53.6%). Taking in $7.8 million ($10 million for the holiday weekend) - that gives the web-slinging sequel a new total of $187.1 million. The film most likely faced even tougher competition at the box office than Godzilla, as the box office is hard-pressed to support more than one super hero film at the same time. Given the current atmosphere, a total north of $200 million is still likely, though it won't likely be too much higher than that amount.

Outside the top five: Expanding to nearly 500 theaters, Jon Favreau's Chef jumped from 15th to 9th place with $2.26 million ($2.9 for the four-day period) and gave it a new total of $4.2 million. The Other Woman crossed the $75 million mark, taking in $3.64 million for a new total of $77.5 million ($78.4 million for the holiday weekend). It will likely double its $40 million budget next, though it will not have enough steam to pass the $100 million mark.

Next weekend, Angelina Jolie looks to impress in Maleficent while Seth MacFarlane hopes to repeat the success of Ted with A Million Ways to Die in the West.


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