Saturday June 11, 2011
Hollywood B.O.: X-Men: First Class Suffers Not for Lack of Wolverine But Presence of Wolverine
Just a few words on Hollywood box office during the week I was on vacation.
“X-Men: First Class” opened poorly, or poorly for an “X-Men” movie, grossing $55 million in 3,641 theaters, down from “Wolverine”“s $85 million, which was down from ”X-Men: Last Stand“'s $102 million, which was better than ”X2“'s $85 million, which was again better than ”X-Men“'s $54 million in 2000. So 11 years later, the last has tied the first. That's unadjusted, of course. Adjust for inflation and the original ”X-Men“ earned $79 million, blowing away the recent prequel.
Industry blah-blahers attribute this lack of interest to the lack of Wolverine, the most popular of Charles Xavier's mutants, but I attribute it to the presence of ”Wolverine,“ the prequel that preceded this prequel, which sucked (a 17% top critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes).
Industry analysts still don't get it. With sequels, opening weekends are all about the previous film, not the current one. ”X2“ opened well because ”X-Men“ was good. ”X-Men: The Last Stand“ opened gangbusters because ”X2“ rocked. ”Wolverine“ opened less well because ”X-Men: The Last Stand“ reeked. The opening weekend box office of ”First Class“ is thus a reflection on ”Wolverine“ and ”Last Stand,“ as well as Fox's superhero films in general. Don't real foxes suck eggs? So does this Fox. Again and again.
In better box office news, I'm overjoyed by the continued success of ”Bridesmaids," which, since it opened May 13th, has dropped, weekend to weekend, only marginally: -20.4%, -20.7%, and -27.3%. Each drop is the lowest of the weekend for wide-release films. It's called word of mouth, people. The movie has now grossed $113 million. My girls got legs.