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maryann johanson | #BlackLivesMatter

question of the day: Why didn’t ‘Wolverine’ make $200 million at the box office this weekend?

The estimated weekend box office numbers are in, and it looks like Wolverine pulled in around $87 million in North America, and $160 million in total around the planet. (I’ll do my usual box office roundup after the actual numbers come in later today — look for that late tonight or tomorrow.)

I figure that no matter whether Wolverine was barely able to scrape up $20 million or whether it broke records with the first $200 million weekend, the Monday-morning quarterbacking would be entertaining to watch. And one Reuters article this morning is like a roller coaster. Wolverine did awesome!:

The $87 million domestic box office for “Wolverine” was lower than the $98.6 million debut of last year’s No. 1 film, “Iron Man,’ and box office trackers had estimated an opening in a range of $85 million to $100 million.

But Chris Aronson, senior vice president of domestic distribution at “Wolverine” backer Twentieth Century Fox, said the studio was guiding industry watchers lower for reasons that included the movie being the fourth in the “X-Men” series.

“I’d been telling people that at anything over $70 million, we were going to be very happy,” he said.

But it could have done better!:

Aronson said “Wolverine” may have been affected by other issues including the flu outbreak that shut theaters in Mexico, where “Last Stand” took in $6 million at its debut.

Hilariously, the article includes an “excuse” for why a movie didn’t do even more awesomely awesome business than it did that is wonderfully creative in its stretching:

In the United States, Aronson said, a Saturday night professional basketball game between the Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls likely reduced moviegoing in those cities. In Boston, ticket sales were off around 21 percent and in Chicago, they were down about 30 percent.

And then there’s this inevitable bugaboo:

Finally, an early and unfinished copy of “Wolverine” had leaked on the Internet and may have kept some fans away. But the true impact of Web watching is hard to calculate. “I don’t know that we’ll ever know” the effect, Aronson said.

My question is this: Why didn’t Wolverine make $200 million at the box office this weekend? The more outrageous you can be, the better. Make me laugh: it’s a rainy Monday here, and I could use the cheering up.

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me.)

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