Twentieth Century Fox’s prequel “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” kicked off the summer box office with a boffo opening day gross of $35 million from 4,099 theaters domestically, including roughly $5 million in midnight runs.
Among the “X-Men” installments opening in May, “Wolverine” ranks second behind 2006’s “X-Men: The Last Stand” which grossed $45.1 million on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. (“Last Stand” had the advantage of opening over a holiday weekend).
“Wolverine” came in safely ahead of “X2: X-Men United,” which opened on the first Friday in May 2003 with $31.2 million and finished the weekend at $85.6 million. “Wolverine” also marks the widest release in the history of Twentieth Century Fox.
“Wolverine’s” notable bow marks the sixth time that a Marvel Studio superhero pic has opened in the top spot at the May box office; the first being “Spider-Man” which generated $39.4 million in 2002. At the same point last year, Marvel succeeded in launching a new franchise with “Iron Man” after the film exceeded expectations with a first day haul of $38.7 million.