X-Men Origins: Wolverine clawed its way to the top spot of the weekend box office with $87 million, breaking out as a summer blockbuster two months ahead of schedule. The movie, starring Hugh Jackman and Liev Schreiber, trails only Spider-Man, Spider-Man 3 and Iron Man in biggest summer kicks-offs, but its big weekend tally still lags behind 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand, the last movie in the franchise, which made $102.8 million on its opening weekend.
Coming in at a distant second was the Matthew McConaughey/Jennifer Garner romantic comedy Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, which took in an estimated $15.3 million in 3,175 locations for a per theater average of $4,827. The movie was the worst opener yet for a McConaughey-starring romantic picture, bringing about $6 million less than similar title Fool’s Gold; not a good sign of things to come.
Beyoncé’s Obsessed tumbled from its top spot last week into third place with $12.2 million, losing 57 percent of its audience. Falling to fourth place was 17 Again with $6.3 million and Monsters vs Aliens jumped up a spot from last week to round out the top five with $5.8 million.
The animated feature Battle for Terra, with Justin Long and Evan Rachel Wood amongst the bigger names in the voice cast, failed to draw a crowd, debuting in 12th place with a paltry $1 million. Michael Keaton’s directorial debut, The Merry Gentleman, made off with $72,200 in 24 theaters, and Jim Jarmusch’s The Limits of Control had a nice $18,067 average at three theaters (almost four times that of Ghosts of Girlfriends Past), taking in $54,200.
Next week it’s a battle of the “origin” movies as J.J. Abrams’ highly anticipated Star Trek tries to live long and prosper at the box office in spite of Wolverine. Also, Next Day Air, the cocaine/crime comedy with Donald Faison and Mos Def, will try to be the next Pineapple Express, while Rudo y Cursi, Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna’s latest movie together, opens in limited release.