Not the most fruitful weekend, with one major wide release on the cards, and "The Wolverine" topped the box office charts with $55 million (this time last year "Dark Knight Rises" made $62.1 million in its second weekend). The James Mangold-directed effort was Fox's second swing at a standalone movie for the character, with Hugh Jackman reprising the titular role, going to Japan and grappling with his immortality and women in his life (dead and alive, sword and poison-wielding), with a few Yasujirō Ozu references thrown in for artsy measure.
At $55 million, the film missed its original tracking reports by roughly $10 million, but more importantly: it missed the mark of its predecessor "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" by a good $30 million (it opened May 2009 with $85.1 million); made less than half of "X-Men: The Last Stand" (it opened May 2006 with $122 million); and it missed the previous X-Men movie by just $100k ("X-Men: First Class" opened June 2011 with $55.1 million). No doubt, Fox executives will be looking hard for what went wrong in this heavily marketed movie that did everything to separate itself from 'Origins' short of burning that film's negative. Do audiences only like Logan if he's with his X-Men buddies? Was the lack of a clear villain a problem?
Looking to the future, what does this mean for the upcoming 2014 "X-Men: Days of Future Past"? Well, it's set for a May 2014 opening and has a combination of both series of X-Men characters, and one can assume that the massive, Avengers-like team-up concept will certainly be a draw. Not to mention that a credits tease in "The Wolverine" for 'Future Past' is already stoking the flames of excitement. All that said, Fox will be banking on very strong international numbers to help out, and with a very healthy $86.1 million, it's the largest X-Men opening internationally of either series. In short, "The Wolverine" will do well, but even matching the $179 million domestic haul of 'Origins' is no guarantee at this point.
In second place, "The Conjuring" is still casting its spooky spell with $22.1 million and a grand domestic total of $83.9 million ($13 million ahead of "White House Down"). It's on track to do about $140 million domestic, making it one of the best performing horror films of all time. In third, "Despicable Me 2" made $16 million this weekend and crossed the domestic $300 million mark, the second movie to do so this year after "Iron Man 3." In fourth, "Turbo" made $13.3 million, crossing the $50 million line with a running total of $55.8 million.
In fifth, "Grown Ups 2" made $11.5 million and has a domestic running total of $101.7 million, making it Adam Sandler's 14th movie to cross the $100 million mark. In sixth, "Red 2" made $9.4 million and is in danger of being retired from the top ten with a running total of $35.1 million after two weeks. In seventh, "Pacific Rim" made $7.5 million, for a domestic total of $84 million, but with a 52.9% slip from last weekend, it doesn't look like it's going to make it to $100 million soon. In eighth, America sure likes "The Heat" as it made $6.9 million in its fifth week, making it the highest grossing comedy of 2013 so far ($141.2 million), surpassing "Identity Thief" ($134.6 million). In dismal though not surprising ninth, "R.I.P.D." made $5.9 million in its second week and with the largest percentage drop since last weekend (53.9%), it should just go rest in peace soon enough.
In tenth, "Fruitvale Station" made a phenomenal transition from specialty to mainstream box office, expanding from 34 to 1,064 theaters and making $4.7 million this past weekend with an average of $4,377 per theater (compared to it making $742,272 last weekend with an average of $21,832 per theater).
Meanwhile, at the arthouse, Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine" opened to incredibly strong numbers in New York and Los Angeles, averaging $102,128 per screen. That figure bests the $99,834 average "Midnight In Paris" received a couple of years back, which incidentally, is Woody's biggest movie to date. And with rave reviews and Oscar consideration already being tipped for Cate Blanchett, this could be another big hit for Woody.
1. The Wolverine (Fox) - $55,000,000
2. The Conjuring (Warner Bros.) - $22,130,000 ($83,867,000)
3. Despicable Me 2 (Universal) - $16,024,000 ($306,413,000)
4. Turbo (Fox) - $13,325,000 ($55,768,000)
5. Grown Ups 2 (Sony) – $11,500,000 ($101,664,000)
6. Red 2 (Lionsgate) - $9,400,000 ($35,074,000)
7. Pacific Rim (Warner Bros.) - $7,540,000 ($84,026,000)
8. The Heat (Fox) - $6,850,000 ($141,245,000)
9. R.I.P.D. (Universal) - $5,857,000 ($24,352,000)
10. Fruitvale Station (The Weinstein Company) - $4,657,000 ($6,339,000)