The latest entry in the "X-Men " franchise opened as the top-grossing film in North America over the weekend, although it was significantly below a pre-release projection of between 60 million to 80 million U.S. dollars.
"The Wolverine," the sixth entry in the popular movie series starring Hugh Jackman in the title role, is projected to roll up 55 million dollars in ticket sales from 3,924 theaters (3,063 in 3- D) in the United States and Canada during Friday-Sunday period, finishing as No. 1.
As the only new release in North America for the weekend, "The Wolverine" opened as No. 1 on Friday with an estimated 21 million dollars worth of tickets including 4 million dollars from late Thursday shows. The debut was lower than the last two sequels -- " X-Men Origins: Wolverine" (USD34.4 million)(2009) and "X-Men: First Class" (21.3 million)(2011).
The latest entry in the 20th Century Fox's iconic superhero franchise had a good word of mouth. It was warmly received by critics and audiences, as it earned a 67 percent approval rating on reviews aggregator Rotten Tomatoes and a coveted "A-" CinemaScore rating from first night audiences.
"The Conjuring" is estimated to finish in No. 2 with 22.1 million dollars in ticket receipts. The Warner Bros./New line thriller, directed by James Wan, is on pace for a 83.87 million dollar 10-day total.
Universal's computer animated blockbuster film "Despicable Me 2, " produced by Illumination Entertainment, is No. 3 with a 16 million dollar weekend. It is on track for a 306.39 million dollar 26-day total.
Rounding out the 10 most popular films in North America this weekend were "Turbo" (13.3 million dollars), "Grown Ups 2" (11.5 million), "Red 2" (9.4 million), "Pacific Rim" (7.5 million), "The Heat" (6.8 million), "R.I.P.D." (5.8 million), and "Fruitvale Station" (4.6 million).