I have to admit I was initially taken somewhat aback by the reports such as this one, that the most recent X-Men movie, X-Men: Days of Future Past was having such a huge opening weekend and was posting record-breaking box-office numbers for Fox, since it seemed to be bucking not only what I was seeing in my own local theater, but also a trend that I was working on an article about, incorporating reports that Amazing Spider-Man 2’s “disappointing” take of “only” 630 or so million dollars (at the time I started writing the article) was leading Sony to rethink their approach to future films in the Spidey franchise.
The premise of that article – which I still intend to appear later this week – is that rather than there being that one huge blockbuster this year that really sets itself apart from the pack and gets not only Avengers-type box but also the follow-through with audiences coming to watch and re-watch the film, the studios might have to settle for across-the-board “mediocre” sell-through and adjust their expectations accordingly.
So what happens to that premise when suddenly it appears that X-Men: DOFP may actually buck that trend? Do I treat it as an aberration? Or do I rethink the entire premise? Or is there something else going on?
Well, in looking at the actual numbers, it appears that the answer actually is that there isn’t a real bucking of the trend after all., because most of the huge box office numbers that are being reported are from overseas sales, since the movie opened in theaters everywhere on the same day, as opposed to most of the other franchise films this year, which have had opening dates in other countries either before or after their US debuts.
As a matter of fact, if you look just at the domestic numbers, X-Men only took in about $90 million, which is in line with, or even below, it’s summer competitors such as Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($95 million), Godzilla ($93 million), and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 ($92 million). It’s only when you add in the estimated 171 million from the rest of the world that the film is reported to have taken in that Fox gets to brag about it’s huge debut.
So what is going on this year, really? Why do the box-office numbers seem so flat across the board? Well, like I said above, I’ll touch on that in the next day or two.
- ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ Box Office Can’t Beat ‘X3′ Domestically; Sets Worldwide Record (screenrant.com)
- X-Men’ overpowers ‘Godzilla’ on way to holiday weekend win (rosahq.wordpress.com)
- Mutants conquer Godzilla at theaters (abqjournal.com)