Weekend Box Office (June 3 - 5, 2011)

by Gitesh Pandya

THIS WEEKEND Fox rebooted its mutant super hero franchise and scored a top spot launch with the comic book pic X-Men: First Class which stood as the frame's only new wide release. The PG-13 film debuted to $55.1M over the weekend from 3,641 theaters for a solid $15,134 average, according to final studio figures. It was in line with other Marvel super hero films of the same type, most notably 2008's reboot The Incredible Hulk which debuted to $55.4M in June of that summer. Both followed films that were widely disliked and featured new directors, cast, and storylines in hopes of winning back fans.

First Class also reached about the same number of people as last month's Thor which bowed to $65.7M which included higher-priced tickets from 3D and IMAX screens that helped to boost the grosses. Take out those extra fees and the two films were very close in opening weekend sales. The new X-Men was only presented in 2D and lacked any big star names that would attract a broader crowd like Thor's Natalie Portman and Anthony Hopkins.

The new tale that documented the origins of Professor Charles Xavier and Magneto played to an adult male crowd. Studio research showed that 58% of the audience was male while 54% was over 25. Reviews were terrific while the CinemaScore grade from paying moviegoers was just a decent B+.

First Class attacked most of the international marketplace this weekend and hauled in an estimated $64M from 74 territories for a robust $119M worldwide debut. The first four X-Men films showed steady growth in the international share of the global total and the latest installment is continuing that trend with 53% of its global opening coming from overseas this weekend.

Following its record-breaking holiday opening, the comedy sequel The Hangover Part II tumbled 64% in its second weekend to $31.4M lifting the 11-day total to a hefty $185.8M. The drop was understandable given the upfront demand for the Warner Bros. film and the fact that it was coming off of a holiday. The Bangkok-set film is on track to finish in the neighborhood of $250M. Overseas, the Hangover pic took in $63.8M thanks to new openings in Germany and Russia. The international cume rose to $154M while the worldwide tally stands at $340M.

Kung Fu Panda 2, the other sequel that launched over Memorial Day weekend, grossed $23.9M falling by a moderate 50%. Paramount has banked $100M after 11 days and looks headed for the $160M vicinity from North America. Overseas, the Jack Black vehicle took in an estimated $40M giving the 3D toon an international total of $125M and $225M worldwide.

Continuing with its rapid erosion domestically and hefty numbers overseas was Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides which approached the $800M global mark. The Johnny Depp adventure fell 55% to $18M for a North American cume of $190.2M. The international take was still huge with $69.4M this weekend bumping the massive total to $600.4M. Worldwide, the latest Pirates is at a towering $790.7M with a hearty 76% coming from offshore.

Kristin Wiig scored her first $100M+ grosser as a lead with Bridesmaids which still showed fabulous legs with $12M, off only 27%, for a $107.2M total. Universal's sleeper hit now looks likely to reach $140M if not more.

The pair of action hits that kicked off the summer movie season followed. Paramount's Thor dropped 55% to $4.3M while Universal's Fast Five grabbed $3.2M falling 51%. Totals are now $169.1M domestic and $427M worldwide for the super hero flick and $202M and $568M for the racing sequel.

Still doing stellar business in limited release was Woody Allen's indie comedy Midnight in Paris which is expanding nicely with $2.8M from 147 playdates. The Sony Classics film averaged $18,843 and raised its sum to $6.8M with many more markets yet to open.

Wedding comedies that have been side-by-side on the charts rounded out the top ten. Sony's Jumping the Broom grossed $850,000, down 54%, while Something Borrowed fell 54% to $850,000 as well for Warner Bros. Cumes are $35.9M and $36.7M, respectively.

Opening to good results in platform release was the Ewan McGregor pic Beginners which bowed to $135,000 from only five sites for a $27,000 average. Focus will expand throughout June. Fox Searchlight saw a strong expansion for its Terence Malick film The Tree of Life which widened from four to 20 theaters for a weekend take of $618,291 and a solid average of $30,915. Total is $1.3M.

The top ten films grossed $152.2M which was up a healthy 26% from last year when Shrek Forever After remained in the top spot for a third time with $25.5M; but off 4% from 2009 when The Hangover debuted at number one with $45M.

Compared to projections, X-Men: First Class was very close to my $58M forecast.

Get daily X-Men updates this week by following BoxOfficeGuru.com on Twitter.

Check the UPDATED chart for the Top June Openings. Watch the NEW trailer for Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

For a NEW review of X-Men: First Class visit The Chief Report.

Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Super 8 and Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer both open.

Marketplace - Shop for DVDs, electronics, books, and posters at discounted prices:

# Title Jun 3 - 5 May 27 - 29 % Chg. Theaters Weeks AVG Cumulative Distributor
1 X-Men: First Class $ 55,101,604 3,641 1 $ 15,134 $ 55,101,604 Fox
2 The Hangover Part II 31,381,234 85,946,294 -63.5 3,615 2 8,681 185,808,194 Warner Bros.
3 Kung Fu Panda 2 23,887,914 47,656,302 -49.9 3,952 2 6,045 100,028,372 Paramount
4 Pirates of the Caribbean: OST 17,954,603 39,828,974 -54.9 3,966 3 4,527 190,200,880 Disney
5 Bridesmaids 12,040,875 16,551,355 -27.3 2,919 4 4,125 107,167,230 Universal
6 Thor 4,250,044 9,533,870 -55.4 2,780 5 1,529 169,122,948 Paramount
7 Fast Five 3,165,355 6,409,150 -50.6 2,237 6 1,415 201,979,665 Universal
8 Midnight in Paris 2,769,992 1,929,562 43.6 147 3 18,843 6,796,731 Sony Classics
9 Something Borrowed 848,013 1,860,855 -54.4 688 5 1,233 36,673,330 Warner Bros.
10 Jumping the Broom 844,909 1,823,631 -53.7 589 5 1,434 35,907,300 Sony
11 Rio 738,518 1,804,883 -59.1 691 8 1,069 136,690,395 Fox
12 Water for Elephants 694,517 1,087,568 -36.1 572 7 1,214 55,733,195 Fox
13 The Tree of Life 618,291 372,920 65.8 20 2 30,915 1,250,226 Fox Searchlight
14 Ready 460,238 98 1 4,696 460,238 Eros
15 Priest 376,365 1,772,996 -78.8 583 4 646 28,713,577 Sony
16 Cave of Forgotten Dreams 343,743 431,062 -20.3 122 6 2,818 3,251,194 IFC Films
17 Rango 239,040 359,511 -33.5 254 14 941 122,152,494 Paramount
18 Source Code 234,874 321,925 -27.0 288 10 816 53,850,556 Summit
19 Soul Surfer 204,050 401,011 -49.1 245 9 833 41,746,300 Sony
20 Born To Be Wild 187,756 247,612 -24.2 47 9 3,995 6,326,531 Warner Bros.
Top 5 $ 140,366,230 $ 199,516,795 -29.6
Top 10 152,244,543 213,344,876 -28.6
Top 20 156,341,935 218,947,400 -28.6
Top 20 vs. 2010 156,341,935 125,285,587 24.8

Last Updated: June 6, 2011 at 5:10PM ET

Watch Gitesh Pandya's weekly box office preview on CNN International airing live each Thursday at 7:40pm ET.