The Reject ReportCould have been a B-. Maybe even a C+. The point being X-Men: First Class rose to a somewhat acceptable occasion, about what was expected. Especially by analysts who realized the film wasn’t being backed by Hugh Jackman, the first time in the franchise, and was comprised of an entirely new cast. Add into that mix the idea that X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine were both such colossal disappointments, and it seems X-Men: First Class did rather well despite all it has going against it.

It still opened larger than 2000’s original X-Men, but the film still came in fourth among the franchise’s debuts.
Given the film’s $160m reported budget, it would seem a long shot for Fox to continue along this First Class storyline. Much to the disappointment of many who saw it, the next film in the X-Men franchise could be something a little more status quo. Deadpool is the assumed next film, but that could change for something a bit more Wolverine-centric given the tough time they had convincing people to see First Class. We could very well be hearing news this week about a director coming on board to take over the Wolverine 2 directing spot left by Darren Aronofsky in March.

Elsewhere this weekend, The Hangover Part II spent another night in Bangkok. Yes. That line just happened. It was down over 60% from its spectacular debut but was still able to muster up over $30m in second weekend tick sales. By comparison, The Hangover dropped 27.1% its second weekend in 2009. As it stands, the sequel is primed to jump over the $200m bar by week’s end and will likely take over Fast Five as the biggest movie of 2011 as well. It’s almost a three-way race at this point for the 2011 top title between those two and Pirates of the Caribbean 4, which will probably get over $200m by the end of next weekend.

Woody Allen and Terrence Malick continue to dominate the current arthouse scene. Allen’s Midnight in Paris made it into the Top 10 for a second weekend in a row, growing its total domestic box office to nearly $7m. Tree of Life wasn’t able to best Midnight in Paris’ per theater average numbers but still brought in $621,000 on 20 screens. Its release will likely continue to expand in the coming weeks. As it stands, Tree of Life has brought in $1.2m in total domestic sales.

Plus, did you know The King’s Speech PG-13 Version is still out there in 16 theaters, and it made $7500 this weekend? Bomb.

Here’s how the weekend broke down:

  1. X-Men: First Class – $56m NEW
  2. The Hangover Part II – $32.4m (-62.2%) $186.8m total
  3. Kung Fu Panda 2 – $24.3m (-49%) $100.4m total
  4. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides – $18m (-54.8%) $190.2m total
  5. Bridesmaids – $12.1m (-26.7%) $107.2m total
  6. Thor – $4.2m (-55.9%) $169m total
  7. Fast Five – $3.2m (-49.4%) $202m total
  8. Midnight in Paris – $2.9m (+51.1%) $6.9m total
  9. Jumping the Broom – $.8m (-52.6%) $35.9m total
  10. Something Borrowed – $.8m (-55.1%) $36.6m total

That amasses to $154.7m for the top 10, and for a second week in a row I have to admit my incorrectness. Between First Class performing just a bit south of expectations and The Hangover Part II having a pretty steep drop, the weekend wasn’t able to top $200 million. Still, the total numbers are quite decent considering only one film was new and didn’t have record-setting numbers.

Next weekend may have some movie-goers seeing disappointment in another highly anticipated project. Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer sees release, and if its numbers don’t hit $75 million, I’ll eat my shoe. But seriously, J.J. Abrams’s Super 8 also comes out, and it could be a battle for the film, which isn’t backed by any kind of brand loyalty, to see acceptable numbers.

We’ll be back on Thursday night to see how the weekend is shaping up.


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