Michael Fassbender as Magneto, X-Men: First Class
X-Men: First Class scored $3.37 million in Thursday midnight screenings at 1,783 locations in North America, reports Box Office Mojo. Directed by Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass, Stardust), produced by Bryan Singer, and starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Rose Byrne, January Jones, Kevin Bacon, Nicholas Hoult, Oliver Platt, and Jason Flemyng, the X-Men prequel is expected to gross somewhere between $50m-$70 million in North America this weekend.
For comparison's sake: Marvel hero Thor earned $3.25 million at midnight screenings at 1,800 sites; the Kenneth Branagh-directed fantasy-adventure went on to gross $65.72 million on its first weekend out. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides took in $4.7 million at midnight screenings, going on to gross $90.15 million over the weekend. Fast Five pulled in $3.8 million at midnight, and grossed $86.19 million over the weekend. Note: both Thor and On Stranger Tides were boosted by costlier 3D ticket prices.
Also worth noting, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, brought in $5 million at midnight screenings in May 2009. Starring Hugh Jackman, Wolverine collected $85.95 million on its first weekend.
So far this year, Todd Phillips' The Hangover Part II is the midnight record-holder, having collected $10.4 million.
Photo: X-Men: First Class (Murray Close / 20th Century Fox)
Ian McShane, Johnny Depp, Yuki Matsuzaki, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Following Bradley Cooper-Zach Galifianakis' The Hangover Part II at no. 2, Kung Fu Panda 2 took in $3.02 million at the North American box office on Thursday, June 2, as per Box Office Mojo. The animated actioner features the voices of Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan, Michelle Yeoh, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, and Gary Oldman.
Starring Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Geoffrey Rush, Sam Claflin, Ian McShane, and Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Rob Marshall's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides added $2.75 million at no. 3. Total to date: $172.24 million.
At no. 4, the resilient Bridesmaids pulled in $1.96 million. The Paul Feig-directed comedy features Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Melissa McCarthy, Jon Hamm, Rose Byrne, and Jill Clayburgh. With a cume of $95.12 million, Bridesmaids will surely pass the $100 million milestone this weekend.
Next in line were Paul Walker-Vin Diesel's Fast Five with $492,000 at no. 6 and Ginnifer Goodwin-Kate Hudson's Something Borrowed with $218,000 at no. 7. Fast Five, whose cume is currently $198.81 million, should pass the $200 million milestone this weekend.
Paul Bettany-Cam Gigandet's Priest collected $196,000, up one spot at no. 8.
Rounding out the top twelve were Woody Allen-Owen Wilson's Midnight in Paris, down one spot with $183,000 at no. 9; Jesse Eisenberg-Anne Hathaway's Rio with $170,000; Paula Patton-Angela Bassett's Jumping the Broom with $125,000; Reese Witherspoon-Robert Pattinson's Water for Elephants with $118,000.
Among the top twelve movies, Midnight in Paris boasted the highest per-theater average, $3,161. Rio had the lowest, $102.
Also among the top twelve, The Hangover Part II, Midnight in Paris, and Jumping the Broom were the only three movies to be down on Thursday (compared to Wednesday): down 12 percent, down 6 percent, and down 0.7 percent, respectively. Rio posted the highest attendance increase, up 15 percent.
Photo: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Peter Mountain / Disney Enterprises)