Box Office Results: X-Men: Days of Future Past Achieves Fifth-Highest Memorial Day Opening


The Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films and then check back on Monday for the final figures based on actual box office.

It was another busy extended Memorial Day weekend at the box office as once again two movies competed for moviegoers’ bucks against the strong returning movies. But it really wasn’t much of a contest as Bryan Singer’s return to the “X-Men” franchise with X-Men: Days of Future Past (20th Century Fox), starring Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicolas Hoult, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen and Ellen Page, definitively won the weekend with a four-day estimate of $111 million in 3,996 theaters. With a per-theater average of just under $28,000 per venue, “Days of Future Past” claims the fifth-biggest opening Memorial Day weekend, although it grossed roughly $12 million less than X-Men: The Last Stand did over Memorial Day in 2006.

Putting that into perspective, one also has to consider that with higher ticket prices including premiums like 3D, “Days of Future Past” had a smaller attendance than the previous installment, and its three-day take of $91.4 million puts it behind Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Godzilla and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in terms of 2014 opening weekends, despite the benefits of a holiday weekend.

The anticipated superhero movie sequel also opened day-and-date in 119 international territories on Friday bringing in enough money overseas for a global opening weekend of $302 million, officially making it the biggest opening for any movie in Fox’s “X-Men” franchise.

Disney is reporting that their Oscar-winning animated hit Frozen has now passed their other 2013 blockbuster Iron Man 3 to become the fifth-highest grossing movie of all time with a worldwide gross of $1.22 billion. Chances are it will stay in that position, behind Avatar, Titanic, Marvel’s The Avengers and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.

Legendary Pictures’ monster movie Godzilla (Warner Bros.) took a dive in its second weekend, dropping 66% from its opening weekend with its $31.4 million three-day gross and $39.4 million including Monday. $6 million of that amount was grossed from its 352 IMAX screens, and so far it’s grossed $157 million domestically in eleven days. Overseas and as of Sunday, Godzilla has grossed an additional $167 million, bringing its global total to $323.4 million.

At one point this holiday weekend, it looked like it might literally be a photo finish for third place between two comedies as Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore’s reunion for the PG-13 Blended (Warner Bros.) took on Seth Rogen and Zac Efron’s R-rated comedy hit Neighbors (Universal Pictures).

Sandler’s latest, which got generally bad reviews across the board yet scored an A- CinemaScore with audiences, took in an estimated $14.2 million in its first three days and ended the extended holiday weekend with $18.2 million. That left Neighbors in fourth place for the weekend with $17.2 million over the four-day weekend (just under $14 million three-day), and it has grossed $117 million since opening three weeks ago.

Sony Pictures’ The Amazing Spider-Man 2 dropped to fifth place with another $10 million over the four-day weekend, its domestic gross of $187 million being way behind the $241 million grossed by the previous installment in its first four weeks. Overseas, Sony’s superhero franchise is doing far better business, having grossed $489 million through Sunday and a worldwide total of $676 million.

In sixth place, Jon Hamm’s baseball movie Million Dollar Arm (Walt Disney Pictures) held up well over the holiday weekend, having the best hold of the returning movies (not counting those that added more theaters), as it added another $8.71 million in the four days ($7.1 million three-day) to take its total to $22.2 million.

Cameron Diaz’s comedy hit The Other Woman (20th Century Fox) took seventh place with $4.5 million over the extended weekend, bringing its total to $78.4 million, followed by the animated sequel Rio 2 (20th Century Fox) with $3.2 million and $122.3 million total. Both Fox movies are doing well overseas with The Other Woman amassing $87 million through Sunday and Rio 2 having grossed $329 million internationally for a worldwide total of $450.6 million.

Jon Favreau’s foodie comedy Chef (Open Road Entertainment) broke into the Top 10 in ninth place after adding 426 theaters on Friday. It added another $2.9 million or $5,851 per theater to bring its total to $4.2 million since opening a few weeks back.

TriStar Pictures’ spiritual hit Heaven is for Real (Sony) rounded out the Top 10 after losing more than a third of its theaters. It has grossed a whopping $86.5 million with the $2.7 million it took in over the 4-day weekend.

Fox Searchlight’s period drama Belle expanded into 453 theaters on Friday, bringing in $2.1 million for the four-day weekend, which was enough to move it up a notch into the Top 12.

The Top 10 accumulated approximately $218 million over the four days, which is significantly less than the $300 million plus from last Memorial Day weekend when Fast & Furious 6 dominated The Hangover Part III by nearly double, $117 million to $50 million. Both the returning Star Trek Into Darkness and Fox’s animated fantasy Epic also brought in more than $40 million each, putting it up there as one of the biggest Memorial Day weekends at the box office.

Opening in 10 theaters in select cities, the Clive Owen-Juliet Binoche rom-com Words and Pictures (Roadside Attractions), directed by Fred (Roxanne) Schepisi, grossed $113 million or $11,000 per location. Jim Mickle’s festival favorite crime thriller Cold in July (IFC Films) starring Michael C. Hall (“Dexter”) did roughly half that amount in six theaters.

Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films.

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