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'X-Men' atop holiday opener bests with $111M
'X-Men: Days of Future Past' atop holiday opener bests with $111M
By JESSICA HERNDON
Associated Press
2014-05-27 06:01 AM

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- "X-Men: Days of Future Past" is projected to be the fifth best Memorial Day holiday weekend debut in box office history over a four-day period, just behind "Fast & Furious 6" and above "The Hangover 2."

The seventh installment in the "X-Men" franchise earned $111 million, according to studio estimates on Monday. Fox updated its holiday weekend projection, taking it up slightly from $91 million to $91.4 million.

2006's "X-Men: The Last Stand" is still the highest domestic opener of the series, gaining $123 million when it debuted over the Memorial holiday. "Days of Future Past," starring a solid cast including Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Peter Dinklage and Ellen Page, is now the second highest "X-Men" debut.

"We were hoping to get a $100 million in four days and we hoped to broaden the movie out to a more general audience, which has come to fruition from a gender standpoint, age standpoint and race standpoint," said Spencer Klein, senior vice president general sales manager for Fox.

The diverse domestic "X-Men" audience was 56 percent male and 44 percent female. Racially, 53 percent of the audience was white, 20 percent African-American, 14 percent Asian and 13 percent Hispanic.

The attention "Days of Future Past" director Bryan Singer received due a sexual assault lawsuit didn't keep fans away from theaters this weekend.

"We didn't really anticipate that it would," said Chris Aronson, president of domestic distribution for Fox. "It really shouldn't have an impact on audiences and seeing this movie. The audience reactions on a global basis are extraordinarily high, the best of any of our 'X-Men' films."

Globally, "Days of Future Past" earned $282 million with $171 million of that total gained from the international sales in 119 countries, all of which had the "X-Men" film ranked No. 1.

The projected worldwide box office cume of "Days of Future Past" through Monday is an astounding $302 million.

Warner Bros. sci-fi monster smash "Godzilla" dropped to No. 2, but landed solidly with $39.4 million from Thursday to Monday.

The Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore-led comedy "Blended" held the third place spot with an $18.2 million debut. It's not a great start for the duo whose previous team-ups included "The Wedding Singer" and "50 First Dates." Both films grossed over $80 million domestically.

"Neighbors" and "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" rounded out the top five earning $17.2 million and $10 million, respectively.

The four-day Memorial weekend is estimated to generate nearly $230 million, which is down approximately 27 percent from last year's holiday weekend gross of $314.2 million.

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Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Tuesday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Rentrak. Where available, latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released on Tuesday.

1."X-Men: Days of Future Past," $111 million ($171 million international).

2."Godzilla," $39.4 million.

3."Blended," $18.2 million.

4."Neighbors," $17.2 million.

5."The Amazing Spider-Man 2," $10 million.

6."Million Dollar Arm," $9 million.

7."The Other Woman," $5 million.

8."Rio 2," $3.3 million.

9."Chef," $3 million.

10."Heaven Is for Real," $2.8 million.

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Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.

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Follow AP Film Writer Jessica Herndon at https://twitter.com/SomeKind

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