It turns out Wolverine (or maybe the bare-chested Hugh Jackman) is a hero that women are willing to sit in the dark with — females accounted for 47% of tickets purchased in the U.S. for the mutant movie this weekend. Ben Fritz of the Company Town blog has more early numbers on the opening weekend of “X-Men Origins: Wolverine“:
He’s no Iron Man and no team of mutants, but Wolverine kicked off the summer with a solid $87 million in domestic ticket sales.
Add in $73 million from the 101 foreign markets where it opened simultaneously and Fox’s first “X-Men” spinoff grossed $160 million around the globe, according to preliminary estimates from the studio.
The opening is almost exactly on par with the second “X-Men” movie, “X2,” which launched on the same weekend in 2003. Given six years of ticket price inflation, which has totaled over 20% domestically, that indicates a significant decline of audience interest.
It’s also noticeably less than Marvel’s self-financed “Iron Man,” which grossed $98.6 million domestic and about $97 million overseas on the first weekend of May last year. 2006’s “X-Men: The Last Stand,” the last film in the series, opened to $102.8 million in the U.S. and Canada and about $76 million in foreign markets.
The lower domestic grosses indicate weaker buzz for this year’s first big film of the summer popcorn movie season. Though “Wolverine” and “Iron Man” had nearly identical Friday night ticket sales, “Wolverine” grossed 16% less on Saturday — $29.75 million compared to “Iron Man’s” $35.2 million. (“Wolverine” was likely hurt a bit by Saturday night’s Boston-Chicago NBA playoff game. Fox found grosses were significantly lower in those two cities.)
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