Saturday, July 27, 2013

Wolverine and Woody

Hugh Jackman returns as the clawed superhero on which he is most familiar with The Wolverine, the only major release to debut this weekend.  Director James Margold (Walk the Line, Knight & Day) hopes to undue the damage brought on the spin-off franchise by the dwindling returns of the Wolverine's first solo entry which in 2009 earned awful reviews and despite a strong open, experienced a drastic fall.  The first days results proved a sigh of relief for the studio executives at 20th Century Fox, as it collected $21 million on its first day of release (including a sold $4 million from Thursday late shows-- an uptick of recent films like Pacific Rim and World War Z.)  While it will fall short of the $85 million opening of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the long end may appear brighter for the better reviewed flick which received an A- CinemaScore.  Here's how the X-Men series stands cash flow wise:

X-Men (2000)- $54 million opening ---> $157.2 million total
X2: X-Men United (2003)- $85 million opening ---> $214.9 million total
X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)- $102 million opening ---> $234.3 million total
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)- $85 million opening ---> $179.8 million total
X-Men: First Class (2011)- $55 million opening ---> $146.4 million total

On the limited side of the openings, Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine is hoping to achieve one of the strongest per-screen averages of the year.  Allen's highest per-screen average so far was Midnight in Paris, which debuted on 6 screens for an average of $93,000.

UPDATE: Blue Jasmine will indeed have one of the more notable limited openings of the year as its first day gross was an estimated $176,000 for a stellar per-screen of $29,000.  It's positioned to open on par (or even perhaps slightly better) than Midnight in ParisFruitvale Station (review), meanwhile, expanded into wide release for a Friday gross of $1.4 million, good enough for the tenth slot.

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