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X-Men: Days zaps competition

By DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE PRESS SERVICES

This article was published May 30, 2014 at 2:10 a.m.

sunspot-adan-canto-from-left-kitty-pryde-ellen-page-iceman-shawn-ashmore-and-colossus-daniel-cudmore-prepare-for-an-epic-battle-in-x-men-days-of-future-past-it-came-in-fi-rst-at-last-weekends-box-office-and-made-1105-million

Sunspot (Adan Canto, from left), Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page), Iceman (Shawn Ashmore) and Colossus (Daniel Cudmore) prepare for an epic battle in X-Men: Days of Future Past. It came in fi rst at last weekend’s box office and made $110.5 million.

LOS ANGELES -- Mutants ruled the box office over the long Memorial Day weekend, while the new Sandler/Barrymore "comedy" disappointed, financially and artistically.

With a studio-estimated $110.5 million in ticket sales from the United States and Canada, X-Men: Days of Future Past easily charged to the top of the box-office charts.

The four-day box-office take for the $200 million 20th Century Fox movie's first weekend in release represents the biggest opening for an X-Men film since 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand, which opened over that Memorial Day weekend with $123 million in ticket sales.

The new movie, directed by Bryan Singer, brings together the casts of the original trilogy and 2011's X-Men: First Class. Days of Future Past, the seventh movie in the X-Men series and the first directed by Singer since X2: X-Men United, appeared to please moviegoers, who gave it a grade of A, according to the polling firm CinemaScore.

"We were hoping to get $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 attention Singer received due to a sexual assault lawsuit didn't keep fans away from theaters.

"We didn't really anticipate that it would," said Chris Aronson, president of domestic distribution for Fox. "It really shouldn't have an impact on audiences and seeing this movie. The audience reactions on a global basis are extraordinarily high, the best of any of our X-Men films."

The estimated worldwide box office cumulative earnings of Days of Future Past through Monday is an astounding $302 million.

The Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore-led effort Blended became a letdown for the duo, whose previous team-ups included The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates. Both of those films grossed more than $80 million domestically.

Blended held the third-place spot debut with lower-than-expected results and landed behind the previous weekend's victor, Godzilla.

Released by Warner Bros., Blended grossed $17.7 million in ticket sales, compared with the $30 million expected by people who had seen prerelease audience surveys heading into the weekend.

Sandler's box-office track record has been mixed in recent years. While last year's Grown Ups 2 raked in $41.5 million in its first weekend on its way to a $134 million domestic total, 2012's That's My Boy opened with just $13.5 million and topped out at $36.9 million.

Neighbors and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 rounded out the top five, earning $17 million and $10 million, respectively.

Godzilla, which roared on its debut weekend with $93 million in domestic ticket sales, continued its rampage with an estimated $38.4 million Friday through Monday.

For the monster movie from Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures, the total haul from the United States and Canada so far stands at nearly $156 million.

MovieStyle on 05/30/2014

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