• Industry

World Box Office May 19-26

Now truly is the time for X-Men: Days of Future Past. After the solid performance of Rio 2 and the entirely unanticipated success of Son of God, Fox Studios can lay claim to their first true megahit of 2014 with its latest X-Men release. The star-studded and at times oddly philosophical thriller came home with $91.4 million over the three-day weekend giving it the third most profitable three day release of the year, behind Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($95 million) and Godzilla ($93.2 million.) Its four day total of $111 million for the Memorial Day weekend is the fifth highest in history and X-Men’s hefty contribution has made this frame’s North American sales for all films the highest of the year at $231.2 million. For the fifth modern adaptation of the classic Marvel Comics series, regular protagonists Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jenifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Nicholas Hoult, and Sirs Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart face off against each other and a deadly robotic army in a prolonged battle that spans three continents and takes us back in time to the Seventies. Chinese audiences responded particularly well to the film’s multiple Asian locations and themes, as this weekend’s opening became the biggest of the year for a Hollywood production in the world’s second largest film market with a stratospheric debut of $39.35 million. Fox spared no expense in their promotional efforts and sent Hugh Jackman and Peter Dinklage to Beijing on PR duty. A global total of $302 million puts Days of Future Past well on pace to beat 2006’s series champ X-Men: The Last Stand’s $459.3 million world-wide take.
Giants as we know can be prone to hard falls, but in this case last week’s undisputed king Godzilla left a sizable $31.4 million shadow as it came second in the domestic market. Its 66% drop was heavily cushioned by last frame’s monster opening but still reflected audience’s greater fascination with the tantalizing trailer than the film itself. Overseas Godzilla cruised to another $34.5 million to take Warner Brother’s big summer offering to $322.6 million in two weeks. With openings in China this June and July in Japan profits can be expected to spike and may lead its global run into even more exalted territory.
Once again a quirky comedy played second or rather third fiddle to the summer season’s almost weekly blockbuster action flicks. Warner Bros.’ Blended finished its opening run with just $17.7 million domestically and another $2.1 million abroad. Starring veteran duo Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore and directed by long-time Sandler collaborator Frank Coraci, Blended reunites the 50 First Dates and The Wedding Singer costars in an odd-couple comedy about two single parents stuck together at an African safari resort. Surprisingly it played 56% female and 74% over the age of 25. Although the film is still well shy of its $40 million budget, Mr. Sandler’s movies typically hold their legs well so with a bit of luck this comedy may be able to pull off a soft landing.
Neighbors showed some staying power, as it pulled in a $17.2 million four-day gross in its third weekend to finish fourth at home. The Seth Rogen and Zac Efron picture reached its $100 million milestone over the weekend with a domestic total of $116.9 million and reached a$184.3 million cumulative for all of its markets.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 dropped into fifth with a $9.8 million four-day haul. Perhaps it’s time for Peter Parker to sit back a bit in his comfortably spun web now that the sequel’s worldwide cumulative rests at a very tidy $680 million after this frame.
Baseball pic Million Dollar Arm picked up $9 million domestically and looks set to at least equal its $25 million budget over the next week. Jon Favreau showed his talent for hit-making isn’t confined to mega blockbusters, with his low budget offering Chef earning $2.98 million for the four-day period after expanding to 498 theatres.
In a final tidbit of good news for Disney, Frozen moved past Iron Man 3 to become the number one hit of 2013 and the fifth biggest of all time with a global cumulative of $1.219 million. Stay tuned for next weekend as seductively evil Angelina Jolie gears up to take on our current crop of best sellers in Disney’s Maleficent.
Lorenzo Soria