Holiday Weekend Box Office: X-Men Days of Future Past Takes Top Spot
The four day Memorial Day holiday weekend saw the latest entry to the X-Men franchise dominate the box office. But it was also a great example of how franchises are struggling to keep up with themselves, both in money made and tickets sold.
Over the usual three-day weekend X-Men: Days of Future Past fell short of the $100 million mark, an expectation that many thought was attainable. Instead it hit $91.2 million making it only the third highest comic movie sequel opening of the year, behind The Amazing Spider-man 2's $91.6 million and Captain America: The Winter Soldier's $95.0 million openings. When Monday estimates are added in Days of Future Past pushed up to $111 million.
Add in the almost $200 million it's made elsewhere around the world and the movie is well clear of its estimated $200 to $250 million production budget. The question is, how much does it have to make to cover what has been one of the largest and likely rather expensive marketing campaigns ever.
Compared to other X-Men movies, Days of Future Past wasn't able to top the chart. It fell short of X-Men: The Last Stand's franchise record holding $102 million debut. But despite the ranking, based on average ticket prices, it also sold fewer tickets than two more of its other predecessors. IMAX, 3D and high end digital audio/picture theaters continue to push those average ticket prices higher, translating the slip in overall sales to even bigger dips in attendance. The balance between summer comic book blockbuster budgets and summer ticket prices is beginning to reach a tipping point as the number of movies released continues to climb.
Adam Sandler's latest comedic offering Blended scraped the bottom of the barrel for whatever Days of Future Past left behind, making just $14 million for a third place opening over the three day weekend and $18 million with Monday sales rolled in. That's among the lowest openings ever for a Sandler headliner and less than half of the $39 million that 50 First Dates banked on its opening weekend, the last time Sandler teamed with Drew Barrymore. With a $40 million budget it's officially on the summer bomb list.
Jon Favreau's latest pet project (he wrote, directed and starred) Chef expanded to almost 500 venues and snuck up to number nine, adding $2.2 million to its now $3.6 million total. The movie is taking the slow open approach, hoping word of mouth will help it sneak up in sales in the midst of the summer blockbuster madness. Hopefully comic movie fans will take time to check it out. After all, this is from the guy who basically brought you the Iron Man you know and love.
For the full four-day Memorial Day holiday weekend totals, check out the chart below:
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