The superhero tentpole scores the best worldwide opening of any “X-Men” film; Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore’s “Blended” debuts to a paltry $18.2 million over the long Memorial Day weekend.
Bryan Singer’s critically acclaimed X-Men: Days of Future Past soared at the Memorial Day weekend box office, nabbing a stellar four-day debut of $111 million from 3,996 theaters. Internationally, the 20th Century Fox tentpole took in $171.1 million for the weekend, putting its global total at a whopping $282.1 million — the best debut of any X-Men film.
Days of Future Past bested the $203 global opening of X-Men: The Last Stand, although in North America, The Last Stand still sports the top debut of all time for an X-Men title ($122 million).
Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore’s comedy, Blended, wasn’t so lucky. The Warner Bros. film, placing No. 3 after Days of Future Past and Godzilla, grossed $18.2 million from 3,555 locations over the four-day holiday weekend, one of the worst openings for a Sandler in recent years. The film’s poor performance played a major role in box-office revenue being down more than 26 percent from Memorial Day weekend 2013.
Days of Future Past is a victory for Fox and Singer, who withdrew from promoting the film after a sex abuse lawsuit was filed against him.
“This record-breaking result reflects the incredible work done by the film makers and cast on this X-Men saga, together with the passion and diligence of the new global distribution and marketing team at Fox,” said Fox’s Paul Hanneman, the studio’s relatively new co-president of worldwide marketing and distribution. Overseas, the tentpole opened in virtually every major market, save for Japan and Spain.
The movie, costing $200 million-plus to produce, features actors from the original X-Men trilogy of films and X-Men: First Class, including Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Peter Dinklage, Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen.
Singer, who directed the first two X-Men films, also produced Days of Future Past alongside Lauren Shuler Donner, screenwriter Simon Kinberg and Hutch Parker.
Overseas, Days of Future Past took in $37.7 million in China, the studio’s second-best opening of all time after Titanic 3D, which went on to earn a massive $150 million. Additionally, Days of Future Past marked Fox’s biggest opening in 11 markets, including South Korea ($13.5 million). Elsewhere, it debuted to $14.2 million in the U.K. and to $13.5 million in France, the biggest launch of the year to date for a Hollywood title.
In North America, Days of Future Past scored the fifth-best Memorial Day opening of all time after Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End ($139.8 million), Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull ($126.9 million), X-Men: The Last Stand ($122.9 million) and last year’s Fast & Furious 6 ($117 million).
Blended, the weekend’s other new nationwide offering, reteamed Sandler with Barrymore for the third time after The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates. While the comedy about two single parents who end up together on an African safari with their kids got a critical drubbing, audiences were more forgiving, awarding it an A- CinemaScore. One saving grace is the film’s relatively modest $45 million budget.
The comedy marks Sandler’s second-lowest opening of the last five years after That’s My Boy, which posted a three-day debut of $13.5 million two years ago (Blended’s three-day gross was $14.2 million). His previous box office outing, last July’s Grown Ups 2, opened to $42.5 million domestically over three days.
Warner Bros.’ president of domestic distribution Dan Fellman said good weather across the country kept many people away from the multiplex over Memorial Day weekend. Last year, in addition to the strong showing of Fast & Furious 6, The Hangover: Part III debuted to $50 million.
“Blended was hampered from maximizing its potential. The A- CinemaScore will help grow our box office as we continue into the lucrative summer playtime,” Fellman said.
Facing fierce competition from Days of Future Past, Legendary Pictures and Warners’ Godzilla fell steeply in its second weekend. The tentpole, coming in No. 2, posted a four-day gross of $39.4 million and a three-day gross of $31.1 million, down 67 percent from last weekend.
Globally, the tentpole has now taken in $323.4 million, including $156.8 million domestically and $166.6 million internationally. Over the weekend, Godzilla helped Warners cross the $1 billion mark in foreign box office revenue for the 14th consecutive year.
Universal’s R-rated comedy Neighbors continued to shine, coming in No. 4 in its third weekend with a four-day gross of $17.2 million and a three-day gross of $13.9 million from 3,266 locations. The Seth Rogen and Zac Efron film finishes the long holiday weekend with a domestic total of $116.9 million and a global haul of $184.3 million.
Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 rounded out the top five, reporting a three-day gross of $7.8 million and a four-day gross of $10 million from 3,160 theaters for a domestic total $187.1 million through Monday. Internationally, the sequel took in another $11.2 million for an international cume of $489 million and worldwide total of $676.1 million.
Jon Favreau’s Chef moved into the top 10 in its third weekend as it expanded into a total of 498 theaters. The indie food truck comedy grossed $2.3 million for the three-days and an estimated $2.9 million for the four, putting its domestic total at $4.2 million. Open Road Films is distributing the movie in the U.S.