A mutant Wolverine streaked past a mutant lizard early into Memorial Day weekend as “X-Men: Days of Future Past” grossed an estimated $36 million in ticket sales on Friday. The total placed it well ahead of the $8.8 million taken in by “Godzilla” as the King of the Monsters entered his second weekend of havoc-wreaking in theaters.
Some industry pre-release projections had the latest installment of the “X-Men” franchise on track to collect more than $100 million, possibly as much as $110 million over the four-day weekend, although 20th Century Fox has been more conservative in estimating its holiday weekend total in the $95 million to $100 million range.
In either case, that would put it short of last year’s Memorial Day weekend movie champ, “Fast & Furious 6,” which took in $38.2 million on opening day of the 2013 holiday period on its way to nearly $120 million over the entire weekend.
“X-Men” has garnered a 74 on Metacritic.com’s 100-point scale averaging reviews from various sources, notably higher than the 62 for Warner Bros.’ “Godzilla.”
“The reviews have been great and we’re confident that everyone, X-fans and non-X-fans, will see this movie and really like it,” Chris Aronson, Fox’s president of domestic distribution, told Variety recently.
Warner Bros. also has the third-place spot in Friday’s top five hits with “Blended,” the romantic comedy reuniting "The Wedding Singer" and “50 First Dates" co-stars Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. It posted one-day receipts of $4.4 million.
Close behind “Blended” is “Neighbors,” with $4.2 million and comfortably back in fifth is “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” at $2 million.