Weekend Box Office: THE WOLVERINE Claims First with $55 Million; Excellent Hold for THE CONJURING

     July 28, 2013

hugh-jackman-the-wolverine-slice

As the only major studio release this weekend, it’s no shock to find The Wolverine in first place. With an estimated $55 million from 3,924 locations, the sixth entry in Fox’s X-Men franchise more than doubled the total of the second place The Conjuring but still managed to look a bit disappointing in the process.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  The Wolverine $55,000,000 $55
2.  The Conjuring $22,130,000 $83.8
3.  Despicable Me 2 $16,000,000 $306.3
4.  Turbo $13,325,000 $55.7
5.  Grown Ups 2 $11,500,000 $101.6
6.  Red 2 $9,400,000 $35
7.  Pacific Rim $7,540,000 $84
8.  The Heat $6,850,000 $141.2
9.  R.I.P.D. $5,900,000 $24.3
10.  Fruitvale Station $4,657,000 $6.3

the-wolverine-posterSo how does first place and $55 million read as a disappointment? When both expectations and tracking put The Wolverine much higher. Though summer 2013 was not light on action, it has been six weeks since Man of Steel soared to the top and five since World War Z debuted a surprise hit in second. Since then, the box office has hosted huge animated hits like Despicable Me 2 and huge live-action misses like The Lone Ranger. Even taking July’s over-packed schedule into account, most observers thought there was room enough for The Wolverine to claw his way past $60 million – especially with the weekend all to himself. So what happened?

The last time audiences saw Wolverine wield his claws was in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The prequel to the blockbuster X-Men trilogy debuted with $85 million in May of 2009 which, at the time, ranked as the fifth best summer opening in history. The film went on to earn $373 million worldwide but was neither well loved by fans or well-reviewed by critics – proving, like Crystal Skull before it, that box office receipts do not always rise in proportion to cinematic quality.

Wolverine also made a brief appearance in X-Men: First Class, which opened with $55.1 million in June of 2011. Though that film went on to earn over $350 million at the worldwide box office, its domestic opening was lower (after adjusting for inflation) than any X-Men feature before it – a fact that was blamed on the absence of Wolverine in a major role at the time.

the-wolverine-movie-posterAlthough no one expected The Wolverine to equal the debut of Origins, few thought it would have trouble topping First Class. Most projections put The Wolverine between $60-$70 million this weekend, which would have ranked fourth on the list of X-Men openings behind 2006’s The Last Stand ($102.7 million), 2003’s X2: X-Men United ($85.5 million) and Origins. The original X-Men opened to $54.4 million in July of 2000 – a number that is surprisingly close to today’s Wolverine estimate… given that the latter had 3D prices and 13 years of inflation working in its favor.

The good news for The Wolverine is that it has improved over Origins in one important aspect. With a current Rotten Tomato rank of 67% and an A- from CinemaScore audiences, The Wolverine should hold better than its 2009 predecessor, which was down by almost 70% by its sophomore frame. And, of course, there’s the international market to consider. The Wolverine opened in most overseas market except China and Japan this week and, considering that First Class passed $200 million overseas without the benefit of 3D or Hugh Jackman, the film’s worldwide prospects still look promising.

Although The Wolverine was this weekend’s only major new release, it was not the only movie to make news. The Conjuring earned an estimated $22.1 million in its sophomore frame: a drop of just 47% from its first-place debut last weekend. That is an incredible hold for a horror movie – a genre that routinely sees its ‘hits’ fall by 60% or more by week two. Finally, after two weeks in very limited release, Fruitvale Station expanded to 1,064 locations this weekend and took in an estimated $4.65 million to crack the top ten.

With The Wolverine now behind us, summer 2013 has just a handful of big titles left on its schedule. Next Wednesday brings Smurfs 2, the sequel to 2011’s giant worldwide hit. The sequel is not generating as much excitement here in the US, unfortunately, so anything close to The Smurfs $35.6 million would come as a shock.

the smurfs 2 poster

Around The Web

Latest News

DHEEPAN Review | Cannes 2015

Jacques Audiard's latest film won the Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

Bad Weekend: The Last 10 Memorial Day Movies, Ranked

It turns out most Memorial Day movies aren’t very good.

AMY Review | Cannes 2015

Asif Kapadia's ('Senna') documentary is a biography of sorts, but also an incredible tribute to her as an artist.

Cannes 2015 Winners: Rooney Mara Best Actress, DHEEPAN the Palme d’Or, More

This year's Cannes jury includes Guillermo del Toro, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Sienna Miller, and is headed up by Joel and Ethan Coen. What were their favorites of the fest?

CHRONIC Review | Cannes 2015

Michel Franco’s 'Chronic' stars Tim Roth as a homecare nurse who gets too involved with his patients.

Box Office: TOMORROWLAND Stays Ahead of PITCH PERFECT 2 with $32.1 Million

Disney’s ‘Tomorrowland’ held in first place for the three-day weekend with an estimated $32.1 million. ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ came in second with $30.3 million. ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ was down 47% in third while the ‘Poltergeist’ reboot opened as expected, in fourth place.

New THE MARTIAN Pictures Further Reveal Ridley Scott’s Sci-Fi Thriller

Matt Damon leads the "'Cast Away' on Mars"-esque film, which also stars Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Kate Mara.

Watch: POLTERGEIST’s Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt Play “Save or Kill”

Which would you save? ‘Star Wars’ or ‘Star Trek’? Han Solo or Indiana Jones? ‘Game of Thrones’ or ‘Breaking Bad’? Watch as Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt are forced to choose.

ASSASSIN’S CREED and Next BOURNE Movie May Add EX MACHINA’s Alicia Vikander

It looks like she won't star in 'The Circle' opposite Tom Hanks after all.

TOP 5: TOMORROWLAND, First STEVE JOBS Trailer, POLTERGEIST, Cannes 2015

David Letterman's final 'Top Ten' and yet another enthusiastic 'Mad Max: Fury Road' recommendation also play roles in this week's Top 5.

Page 1 of 3,96312345...102030...Last »