'X-Men' atop holiday opener list with $111M

By JESSICA HERNDON Associated Press Published:

LOS ANGELES -- "X-Men: Days of Future Past" is projected to be the fifth best Memorial Day holiday weekend debut in box office history over a four-day period, just behind "Fast & Furious 6" and above "The Hangover 2."

The seventh installment in the "X-Men" franchise earned $111 million, according to studio estimates on Monday. Fox updated its holiday weekend projection, taking it up slightly from $91 million to $91.4 million.

2006's "X-Men: The Last Stand" is still the highest domestic opener of the series, gaining $123 million when it debuted over the Memorial holiday. "Days of Future Past," starring a solid cast including Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Peter Dinklage and Ellen Page, is now the second highest "X-Men" debut.

"We were hoping to get a $100 million in four days and we hoped to broaden the movie out to a more general audience, which has come to fruition from a gender standpoint, age standpoint and race standpoint," said Spencer Klein, senior vice president general sales manager for Fox.

The projected worldwide box office cume of "Days of Future Past" through Monday is an astounding $302 million.

Warner Bros. sci-fi monster smash "Godzilla" dropped to No. 2, but landed solidly with $39.4 million from Thursday to Monday.

The Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore-led comedy "Blended" held the third place spot with an $18.2 million debut. It's not a great start for the duo whose previous team-ups included "The Wedding Singer" and "50 First Dates."

The four-day Memorial weekend is estimated to generate nearly $230 million, which is down approximately 27 percent from last year's holiday weekend gross of $314.2 million.

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