X marked the #1 spot on this Memorial Day weekend, as X-Men: Days of Future Past blasted to the top of the box office, with an estimated $90.7 million over 3 days (and $110 million over the holiday Monday). The figures were in line with industry expectations, as the Bryan Singer-directed pic bounced back from the milder takes of X-Men: First Class and The Wolverine (which opened in the low-to-mid $50 million area) to give the franchise’s fans an all-out extravaganza that they could be excited about. Critics and audiences were very happy with the seventh film in the X-Men franchise as well, and an A CinemaScore indicates that the film could have longer staying power in theatres than what’s typical for the genre.
Days of Future Past also took in an extra $171.1 overseas, to clear the $260 million mark worldwide. By Friday, the film should blaze past the $354 million take of X-Men: First Class worldwide, and by next Saturday, its $146 million gross in the United States should be beaten as well.
Although the opening weekend was impressive, some prognosticators thought the film could be the first 2014 blockbsuter to break $100 million in three days. X-Men: Days of Future Past is the fourth movie in eight weeks to debut with more than $90 million but fail to hit nine digits (the others being Godzilla and the sequels to The Amazing Spider-Man and Captain America). Meanwhile, Days of Future Past failed to reach the three-day heights of X-Men: The Last Stand, which opened with $102.8 million over its first three days on Memorial Day weekend in 2006. However, with so many big action movies in theatres, the anticipation factor may have been muted.
Regardless, although X-Men movies tend to be front-loaded at the box office, X-Men: Days of Future Past boasts some of the strongest word-of-mouth in recent action movie history. The Last Stand got a very mixed reception among fans and dropped quickly at the box office, which means that Days of Future Past could hold better and surpass the $234.4 total of Brett Ratner’s film.
Meanwhile, the strength of Professor X and company impacted last week’s big opener, Godzilla, which lost two thirds of its audience over the holiday weekend. It placed second with $31.4 million and is predicted to get $39.5 million over four days. With a big action movie competitor and more lukewarm reaction than initially thought, Godzilla could not keep the momentum it had from its opening last weekend, as film should have a $156.9 cume by the end of Monday. Although that easily surpasses the $136.3 million gross of Roland Emmerich’s 1998 version, Godzilla is almost guaranteed to sell fewer total tickets due to the harsh drop this weekend.
It’s also interesting to note that Godzilla dropped even harder on its second weekend than Man of Steel, Warner Bros. and Legendary’s previous big opener that had mixed word-of-mouth. If it follows that film’s pattern, Godzilla will probably end its run with between $200 and $210 million.