What swine flu?
Hollywood may have been worried that the public's fear of the swine flu pandemic might affect this weekend's box office, but someone forgot to tell that to the millions of "X-Men" fans who hit the multiplex yesterday. Savvily marketed as the fourth "X-Men" sequel, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" pulled out a massive $35 million dollar Friday in what should amount to a $85-88 million opening. It won't match last year's "Iron Man" stunner of $98 million or the last two openers of the "X-Men" franchise, but after all the negative buzz and concern over the illegal online download, 20th Century Fox will take it. If the picture plays like traditional trends, it should end up between $180-200 million total, which is not too shabby for a spin off and will have done its job: establishing a new franchise for the News Corp. company.
As for this weekend's other major opener, Matthew Mcconaughey and Jennifer Garner's "Ghost of Girlfriends Past" brought in a much less dramatic $6 million for what should amount to $16-17 million for the weekend. That total will bet last years Patrick Dempsy vehicle "Made of Honor" which, similarly slotted against a superhero pic ("Iron Man") made only $14.7 million in its opening weekend before eventually topping out a shrug inducing $46 million. Considering "Ghosts" is a much better movie, Warner Bros. should look for a total between the $50-60 million range for the romantic comedy.
Last week's box office champion, "Obsessed," brought in $4.2 million and is estimated to cume $12 million for its second weekend. For a movie that reportedly cost only $20 million, Sony will be very happy with a two week gross of over $47 million and close to $70 million overall when the thriller's run is done.
Look for final weekend results tomorrow on HitFix.