Despite a high number of positive reviews than its predecessor (including our own), The Wolverine has taken less than anticipated at the US box office but opened stronger internationally. Coming Soon indicates that the film still topped the charts and opened at an estimated $55 million in 3,924 theaters.
This is lower than the estimated $75 million, and lower again than the $60 million that Twentieth Century Fox were calling. However, the $86.1 million internationally makes it the biggest opening for an X-Men movie yet. The $141.1 million worldwide totals don’t yet include the key market of Japan, where the film is set to open on 6 September.
The film handily beat the next film on the list, The Conjuring, which only dropped 47% to a $22.1 million second weekend.
At an estimated production cost of $120 million, this is the first X-Men film to debut without the “X-Men” name in the title. The opening weekend is curiously $30 million less than the first weekend of the critically bashed X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which opened 3 years ago to $85 million in the US. That movie’s poor reception with the reviewers is one of the possible reasons that this second solo adventure is seen to have underperformed at the US box office.
Drawing inspiration from writer Chris Claremont and artist Frank Miller‘s 1982 Wolverine mini-series, The Wolverine fits broadly into the “Japan Saga” that also graced the pages of The Uncanny X-Men. The film find Logan returning to Japan to pay his respects to a man whose life he saved many years before, and soon finds himself on the run and protecting his granddaughter and heiress Mariko (Tao Okamoto) from would-be assassins.
The film also foreshadows the next massive film in the franchise, X-Men: Days of Future Past, which will also feature Jackman in his recurring role alongside new and returning cast-members Omar Sy, Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore, Anna Paquin, Halle Berry, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Shawn Ashmore, Evan Peters, Nicholas Hoult and Peter Dinklage. X-Men: Days of Future Past is set for released on 23 May 2014 from Fox.
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