Weekend Box Office – X-MEN: FIRST CLASS Clears $56 Million in Debut

     June 5, 2011


As the only new release of June’s first frame, X-Men: First Class easily claimed the top spot with an estimated $56 million from 3,641 locations.  While that is nowhere near what the last three X-films earned in their debuts, let’s face it, First Class was never playing in their league.

Title Weekend Total
1 X-Men: First Class $56,000,000 $56
2 The Hangover Part II $32,445,000 $186.8
3 Kung Fu Panda 2 $24,300,000 $100.4
4 Pirates of the Caribbean 4 $18,010,000 $190.2
5 Bridesmaids $12,128,000 $107.2
6 Thor $4,200,000 $169
7 Fast Five $3,240,000 $202
8 Midnight in Paris $2,916,000 $6.9
9 Jumping the Broom $865,000 $35.9
10 Something Borrowed $835,000 $36.6


Despite its lucrative lineage, X-Men: First Class was not a guaranteed blockbuster.  Bottom line: no Wolverine meant a big question mark for this prequel/reboot.  Six days ago, I even wondered if First Class could guarantee a first place finish.  What if The Hangover Part II held well (as its predecessor had)?  With its lackluster reviews and front-loaded opening, that didn’t seem likely but, First Class wasn’t tracking particularly well with general audiences.  Even with the weekend all to itself, I never felt the groundswell of interest behind Matthew Vaughn’s origin story like I had for, say, Watchmen.  And we all know what happened there.

So, as a fan of Vaughn’s and of the X-Men franchise, I see that $56 million as a big relief.  Does First Class look like a superhero-sized hit?  No.  But did it pass the grade in terms of its first weekend?  From where I’m sitting, absolutely.  The last time we had a mutant in the theatres was May 2009.  X-Men Origins: Wolverine opened to $85 million.   Three years before that, X-Men: The Last Stand made $102.7 million in its own May debut.  Of course, both of those films were reviled by fans and critics alike.  There’s a reason that Fox has been comparing this film to Batman Begins instead of to entries in its own series – resetting the quality button on a once-beloved franchise is half the battle and, as the best critically reviewed X film since X2: X-Men United, Vaughn has so far succeeded.

Of course, it is beyond question that X-Men: First Class has the lowest opening of the franchise since the $54.4 million of the original (which comes to $69 million, adjusted for inflation) but, considering that most people do not see the film as part of that franchise, I’m not sure those comparisons are fair.  Additionally, international estimates are not yet available, as I write, so we’ll have to hold some of our judgment in reserve.

The Hangover Part II image The Hangover 2 imageAny suspicions I had last week about a surprise second week on top for The Hangover Part II look pretty ridiculous today.  That’s because the sequel fell off by a big 62% this weekend instead of the 27% (!!) decline of the original.  Spiritless derivation has its price.  Of course, with Part II already the third highest grossing film of the year after eleven days, no one involved with the project is sweating the film’s poor word of mouth at this point.

All of that word of mouth that didn’t go to The Hangover Part II was, once again, held in reserve for Universal’s Bridesmaids.  For the fourth weekend in a row the R-rated comedy saw the smallest drop of any title at 26%.  Saturday also put the film over the $100 million mark domestically – a big achievement for any non-tentpole film, let alone a comedy starring a bunch of TV actresses.  Saturday also marked the day that Universal’s Fast Five passed $200 million in the US – the first film of 2011 to make it to that particular milestone.


Next weekend director JJ Abrams returns with Super 8.  And, just to be clear, this week I am not at all worried that the sci-fi film will fail to fall in first place…


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  • Michael

    That does sound pretty weak for a summer movie, especially given that teens are out of school now — the primary audience for such a movie.

    • Ian

      That’s true, but you have to take into account that most people hated The Last Stand and Wolverine, and everything from the rushed production schedule to deviations from the comic to continuity errors had most (myself included, I’m not gonna lie) thinking this would be awful. Hopefully this holds up well, because it really was a great movie (second only to X2 in this series) and I’d like a sequel. But with Super 8 next week and Green Lantern the week after having similar audiences, we’ll see.

      • Mark Tornits

        absolutely correct-

        if you remember- batman begins came in under what the studios wanted with 48 million-

        but was then huge in DVD sales and had great word of mouth-

        this may do similarly but it really isn’t anywhere as good of a film as begins is.

        WB actually blamed tom cruise/ katie holmes for low opening numbers which is insane but obviously they didn’t want her back/ they pissed her off enough to not do the sequel – shame cause maggie g really makes me want to vomit in TDK-

      • excpired

        What are you on? Maggie G is hot as hell and a fine actress, glad she was in the film.

        I saw First Class on Friday and it was pretty good, I wasn’t really pumped about it but I’m not going to lie when Magneto deflected that bullet I was laughing out of anticipation! (Those who have seen it will know what I mean). I wasn’t entirely sure it would happen during this movie.

    • junierizzle

      Actually here in Los Angeles, kids are still in school.

  • aaronsullivan

    Very good movie, tired and abused franchise. The advertising didn’t do its job either. I wasn’t much interested until close to the release and after seeing the RottenTomatoes verdict.

  • John

    I think word of mouth will help this movie make alot more money. Also what were the numbers for the international box office?

  • Sam

    It apparently only dropped 5% on Saturday though, which is pretty tiny, so it should have good longevity.

  • Austin

    I really hope this movie ends up doing well. I thought it was fantastic and it’s one of the few movies that actually deserves a sequel.

  • junierizzle

    I’m actually surprised it did that much business, considering it really wasn’t hyped up as a must see summer movie.

  • Wladi

    The best of the X men series next to X2…this is how they should have made X3…

  • Ytsejamer1

    Maybe I’m being over-enthusiastic, but I thought X-men: First Class was just as good as the first Iron Man movie. At first I wasn’t sure how a comic origins type movie would resonate after Wolverine (I liked it well enough too, but i’m in the minority) but as the release got closer and the trailers came out, I was more than psyched. I saw it today and was really blown away how well the movie played out.

    They did a great job and can’t wait to see where first class goes from here.

  • david

    first class is amazing those numbers should go up, it’s better then all the other x-men movies. if you havn’t seen it go watch it!

  • aaronite_1

    As much as I enjoyed First Class, I’d be much more “pumped” to see Hugh, Patrick and the originals in X-MEN 4. People really exaggerate the damage X3 did – characters never die for good in the comics.

    Do it, Mr Singer!

  • Andrew Sanders

    Went to see this yesterday & was very impressed overall.Fassbender’s Magneto stole the show for me,…a great performance.
    I was however a bit disappointed with some of the weaker characters/mutants-Azazel was just a red carbon copy of X2′s Nightcrawler & as for that flying,fire gobbing fairy,Angel Salvadore,…they shouldn’t have bothered!!
    Otherwise,a class act.

  • Daniel

    Also take into account that, unlike a lot of recent blockbusters, this film was not released in 3D in any way, shape or form. That had to skew the numbers a bit, I think.

    The movie itself was pretty damn good. Fassbender was fantastic.