Tuesday, May 30, 2006
"X-Men" Makes A S**tload!
Posted by JPX
From Darkhorizons, "Move over Da Vinci and get set for an "X-Men 4" sooner rather than later it seems as Memorial Day now looks like it'll be the new favourite weekend to open films. "X-Men: The Last Stand" opened on Friday to no new competition, average critical reviews, scathing attacks from its comic book fan base, and one of the more widespread yet relatively subdued marketing campaigns for a blockbuster this month.
The results however paid off... big time. On its first day the third "X-Men" film garnered a jaw-dropping $44.1 million, the second biggest opening day for any film of all time, behind only last year's "Star Wars: Episode III" ($50.0m), and the third highest single day take (behind SW3 and Shrek 2) ever. The amount sits well above the opening day of "X2" ($31.2m) and is more than half again what "The Da Vinci Code" took on its opening day ($28.6m).
The super jump though wasn't going to last, on Saturday the film dropped 30% (every other film in the Top Ten gained 20-40%), but nevertheless still managed a massive $31.8 million. All up the movie looks set to earn just over $100 million for the standard three day weekend and around or over $120 million for the four day holiday. Without question it will be the biggest opening for a Memorial Day weekend ever (thrashing "The Lost World" with $90M for the four days), and its three day total will fit it at around the fifth highest opening weekend of all time position, right next to the last two "Harry Potter" movies.
This opening smash has sent some shock waves throughout the industry in more ways than one. Whilst industry buzz for 'The Last Stand' was mixed and surprisingly quiet, amongst the fan boy community there was a loud amount of negativity from hard core fans who loved the first two films and weren't happy with the way Fox was rushing the project and hired a new director to take over for geek favourite Bryan Singer.
Singer's defection from X3 to "Superman" lead many to speculate that X3 was rushed in order to beat "Superman" to the gate. The massive opening, and to a lesser extent the not too shabby reviews, must seem almost like a vindication for Fox chief Tom Rothman's decision to move ahead so fast. Rothman put the bottom dollar first over the wishes of the X-Men fans, and the results paid off big time for Fox in a big opening weekend at a time when the industry is more desperate than ever for them.
The downside though is a potentially quicker drop-off in repeat business due to the lack of that staple support. The big opening also goes to show that despite various comic book movies flopping lately, if there's a genuine big enough fan base there (ie. Batman, Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, etc.) then the money will come raking in no matter what the quality. It also will likely cause people to up their estimates on the opening of "Superman Returns" in June, despite mixed reaction to the trailers and somewhat negative buzz brewing in the industry to the Singer epic. That may change depending upon how the first screenings go in early June.
The weekend wasn't only ruled by the "X-Men". On the limited release front, the Al Gore global warming documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" garnered a staggering $65,000-per-screen opening day - easily the strongest average for a limited release opening this year."
at 4:28 AM