The 3-D superhero sequel starring
Instead, the film got off to a far slower start than expected, coming in well behind the $85 million debut of "Origins," which went on to gross $373 million worldwide. In fact, "The Wolverine" had the lowest opening of any movie in the "X-Men" universe since the 2000 original, which has since spawned four sequels based on the Marvel Comic. Another, "X-Men: Days of Future Past," is planned for release next summer, and Jackman's character plays a prominent role in it.
If Fox's executives were disappointed by the weekend result for "The Wolverine," they were doing a good job of hiding it Sunday morning.
It's possible, however, that "The Wolverine" was hurt by the bad impression the 2009 entry left with moviegoers. While its predecessor was not well-liked by critics or fans, the sequel earned strong reviews. Those who saw the film this weekend assigned it an average grade of A-, according to market research firm CinemaScore. About 58% of the weekend crowd was male, while the same percent of the audience was age 25 or over.
Though "The Wolverine" failed to amaze at the box office this weekend, its launch is hardly disastrous for a $120-million production. The movie will likely do solid business overseas, where the film opened with $86.1 million -- the biggest international launch for any "X-Men" film.
Meanwhile, the weekend's runner-up was the low-budget horror flick "The Conjuring." The film, a surprise No. 1 upon its debut, saw its ticket sales drop just 47% to $22.1 million during its second weekend in release. The $20-million production has now collected $83.9 million and could soon become the top-grossing horror film of the year.
In more limited release, CBS Films opened its R-rated comedy "The To Do List" to so-so results. Playing in roughly 600 theaters, the movie grossed $1.5 million -- the same amount as it cost to produce the film starring