UPDATED Sunday, May 3rd at 11:45am: According to boxofficeguru.com, 20th Century Fox is reporting X-Men Origins: Wolverine's full opening weekend gross will be $87 million, smack dab in the sweet spot of most weekend predictions.
While not recording breaking or keeping pace with last year's critical and word-of-mouth darling Iron Man , its a respectable figure considering the fairly weak reviews and negative buzz that has followed the film for most of the last month.
Wolverine now faces the same issue most comic book adaptations do, exactly how much of its audience was front-loaded and what kind of drop-off it will face in its second weekend when it will certainly finish a distant second place to Paramount's Star Trek, opening next week.Worst case scenario for high-profile comic book films lacking positive buzz has been about 66%, with films like Watchmen and X-Men: The Last Stand both suffering about 2/3rd fall-off in their second frame. Best case would be around a 50% decline that buzz films like Iron Man, Spider-Man 2, and X2: X-Men United enjoyed. The original X-Men might make for an interesting case-study in this case. The 2000 film was likely very front-loaded given it was the first-ever Marvel X-Men adaptation and wasn't a great critical success. It lost 56.9% of its business in its second weekend. Fox would like sign-up for anything in the 60% neighborhood given the all circumstances surrounding Wolverine.
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</noscript>Original story: It looks like the Internet pirates were held at bay, at least for X-Men Origins: Wolverine's opening weekend anyway. Fox and Marvel's PG-13 Hugh Jackman-starrer reportedly grossed an estimated $35 million at the North American box office on Friday (according to boxoffice.com), putting the film on pace to accumulate a predicted $84 to $89 over the full weekend.
The figure includes approximately $5m the film earned during midnight showings Thursday night.
The $35 million almost exactly matches Iron Man's $35.2m Friday haul exactly one year ago. That Marvel superhero film went on to gross $102.1m its first weekend, but most prognosticators aren't predicating Wolverine will go that high, despite the similar Friday results. Less-than-positive word of mouth is being cited as the reason Wolverine may not match Iron Man's performance.
The Friday figures are also similar to the $31.2m opening day of 2003's X2: X-Men United (also on the first weekend of May). That critically well-received film totaled $85.6M during its opening frame on its way to a $214.9M final gross.
Look for updates throughout the weekend for more predictions, estimates and updated figures.Related:POLL: X-Men Origins: Wolverine Box Office