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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

North American box office: it’s ‘Wolverine’s one weekend on top

Maybe they’ll figure out a way to beam Logan onto the Enterprise next weekend:

1. X-Men Origins: Wolverine: $85.1 million (NEW)
2. Ghosts of Girlfriends Past: $15.4 million (NEW)
3. Obsessed: $12.1 million (2nd week; drops 58%)
4. 17 Again: $6.4 million (3rd week; drops 45%)
5. Monsters vs. Aliens: $5.8 million

actual numbers, not estimates
So, Wolverine’s actual takings were down a little from the Sunday estimates — which had put its opening at $87 million — which means that fewer people made a trip to see the film on Sunday than the Friday and Saturday actuals suggested would. Which means, in turn, that word of mouth over the weekend was not quite as good as the studio was expecting. It’s not a tragic difference, but still… It can’t be good for the film’s long-term prospects, which were already going to be taking a hit from Star Trek next weekend.

Overall business was down over the same weekend last year. Not a lot — a matter of a couple hundred thousand when we’re talking $150 million-plus for the top 12 movies — but it’s the first hiccup in the box office juggernaut we’ve seen this year. Could just be a bump for Wolverine, though, not for the general enthusiasm on the part of the public for movies at the moment. Because the same weekend last year was programmed similarly, with Iron Man and Made of Honor opening against each other. Ghosts did approximately as well as Honor — which debuted with $14.8 million — but Wolverine was down substantially from Iron Man’s $98.6 million.

Not that Ghosts did particularly well: it was Matthew McConaughey’s worst opening for a romantic comedy since 2001’s The Wedding Planner. Maybe that’s because, as various wags have been putting it, McConaughey here puts the dick in Dickens and the screw in Scrooge. Yuck.

Meanwhile, the grownup movies are tanking. The Soloist is sinking fast: it dropped “only” 42 percent in its second weekend, but it took in only $5.7 million. And in its third week, State of Play dropped “only” 46 percent, but it took in only $3.7 million. I fear this does not bode well for anyone who wants to see anything beyond superhero movies and 3D cartoons.

Not all 3D cartoons do well, though: Battle for Terra has an abysmal debut way down at No. 12, taking in only $1.1 million — that’s a per-screen average of $933.

Wolverine had the best per-screen, by the way, of $20,751 at each of 4,099 venues. The new Jim Jarmusch thriller The Limits of Control was second, at $18,607 (3 screens). And then it was a long drop to the rest of the top five on a per-screen basis, with Tyson ($5,757/13 screens), Il Divo ($5,657/5 screens), and Under the Sea 3D ($5,632/45 screens) all practically neck-and-neck.

[numbers via Box Office Mojo]

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  • Victor Plenty

    Next weekend is the perfect time to catch Wolverine, by my reckoning. No worrying about sold out showings, no standing in line, and freedom to choose just about any seat in the house.

    Well, perhaps I exaggerate slightly.

    In truth, I’d probably be seeing Star Trek at the earliest possible opportunity if I hadn’t promised a buddy I’d catch it with him next Tuesday.

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