'X-Men' dominates holiday box office with $91M
By Jessica Herndon, The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES - A team of mutants overpowered one massive mutant monster at the box office during the Memorial Day holiday.
Fox-Marvel's "X-Men: Days of Future Past" debuted with $91 million beating last weekend's No. 1 hit, the Warner Bros. sci-fi adventure "Godzilla," which earned $31.4 million in its second weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday.
"Days of Future Past" is estimated to earn nearly $110 million over the four-day extended holiday weekend, which would make it the fifth-highest Memorial Day opener just after last year's $117 million-grossing "Fast & Furious 6." ''Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" holds as the highest Memorial holiday debut ever with $140 million in 2007.
It appears the attention "Days of Future Past" director Bryan Singer has received lately due a sexual assault lawsuit didn't deter fans from flocking to the theatre. The director dropped out of doing any press for the film following the allegations because he didn't want to divert attention from the movie.
"Rarely do outside situations impact the box office," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box-office tracker Rentrak. "The true fans, all they care about is the movie."
"Days of Future Past" is the second-highest opener in the "X-Men" franchise after Brett Ratner's "X-Men: The Last Stand" debuted over Memorial Day weekend with $123 million in 2006.
The film brings together a massive star-studded cast including Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Peter Dinklage and Ellen Page.
Globally, "Days of Future Past" opened No. 1 in 119 countries with $262 million, the highest grossing opening weekend worldwide of the "X-Men" franchise and the biggest Fox International opening weekend ever.
"This is a franchise that started back in 2000, which predated the first 'Spider-Man' movie by two years so 'X-Men' started the renaissance in the world of big superhero movies," Dergarabedian said.
The Warner Bros. romantic comedy "Blended" debuted at No. 3 with a lacklustre $14.2 million. In the movie, Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore team up for the third time following "The Wedding Singer" and "50 First Dates."
Though Sandler's "Grown Ups 2" grossed $247 million worldwide, his box office success has teetered over the years. His 2012 comedy "That's My Boy" earned only $58 million globally, while his 2011 films, "Jack and Jill" and the Jennifer Aniston co-starring "Just Go With It" gained $150 million and $215 million worldwide, respectively.
Universal's Seth Rogen and Zac Efron-starring lewd comedy "Neighbours" took in $14 million as it crosses the $100 million mark domestically with $114 million overall.
Sony's "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" rounds out the top five with $8 million in its fourth weekend, while Disney's "Million Dollar Arm" followed close behind with a solid $7.1 million in its second weekend.
Four comedies populated the top 10 with Fox's "The Other Woman" landing at No. 7 and Jon Favreau's "Chef," at No. 9.
In 2013, Memorial Day weekend was the biggest grossing weekend of the year with $314.2 million over the four-day holiday that saw "Fast & Furious 6," ''The Hangover Part III" and the animated "Epic" debut.
"This year it will be more like $230 million," said Dergarabedian, who notes that next year has a shot at being a record-breaking Memorial weekend due to the debut of Marvel's "Avengers" sequel "Avengers: Age of Ultron."
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theatres, according to Rentrak. Where available, latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released on Monday.
1."X-Men: Days of Future Past," $91 million ($171.1 million international).
2."Godzilla," $31.4 million ($35 million international).
3."Blended," $14.2 million ($2.1 million international).
4."Neighbours," $14 million ($8.2 million international).
5."The Amazing Spider-Man 2," $8 million ($11.2 million international).
6."Million Dollar Arm," $7.1 million.
7."The Other Woman," $4 million ($3.8 million international).
8."Rio 2," $3 million ($5 million international).
9."Chef," $2.2 million ($425.000).
10."Heaven Is for Real," $2 million.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theatres (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to Rentrak:
1. "X-Men: Days of Future Past," $171.1 million.
2. "Godzilla," $35 million.
3. "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," $11.2 million.
4. "Neighbours," $8.2 million.
(tie) "Coming Home," $8.2 million.
5. "Frozen," $7 million.
6. "Rio 2," $5 million.
7. "The Other Woman," $3.8 million.
8. "Qu'est ce qu'on a fait au Bon Dieu?!," $3.6 million.
9. "Obsessed," $2.2 million
10. "Blended," $2.1 million.
Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.
Follow AP Film Writer Jessica Herndon at https://twitter.com/SomeKind