Bryan Singer's "X-Men: Days of Future Past" is off to a superheroic start at the box office, after scoring a huge $8.1 million from late Thursday night showings.
The latest installment of 20th Century Fox's Marvel Comics franchise opened on some 2,900 screens starting at 10 p.m. last night.
Fueled by a muscular ad campaign, heavy star power and rave reviews (currently a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes), "X-Men" will likely pass the magic $100 million mark over the four-day Memorial Day weekend, which would render it the year's biggest debut so far.
The previous record-holder for the year, "Captain America: The Winter Solider," bowed to $95 million in late April.
"X-Men" is facing fierce competition from Warner Bros.' "Godzilla," which is projected to have a solid sophomore outing, but shouldn't be too worried about the new comedy "Blended," starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore.
While "X-Men's" Thursday haul didn't top the $9.3 million earned by "Godzilla" in its Thursday night debut last week, it should be noted that screenings for the latter film started three hours earlier at 7 p.m. Likewise, "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" kicked off showings at 8 p.m. on its way to a $8.7 million Thursday gross at the beginning of May.
"X-Men: Days of Future Past" stars Jennifer Lawrence, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Peter Dinklage, Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan.
Look for continuing box office updates throughout the weekend on HitFix.