X-Men trounce Godzilla at box office
THE film, X-Men: Days Of Future Past, the latest in the Marvel Comics series about mutants with super powers, opened with US and Canadian weekend sales of US$90.7 million (S$114 million) for Twentieth Century Fox, easily surpassing its 2011 predecessor.
X-Men pushed aside Godzilla, a new take on the 1950s monster film, to claim the No. 1 spot in the extended US Memorial Day weekend, Rentrak Corp said on Sunday.
Godzilla garnered US$31.4 million for Legendary Entertainment and its partner and distributor Warner Bros, placing second.
Blended, a Warner Bros romantic comedy, opened third with US$14.2 million.
Studios often look to sequels to outdraw the previous films. X-Men: Days Of Future Past, starring Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart, is the second of a new trilogy that Fox is producing.
Six previous pictures have collected US$2.4 billion globally for the studio since 2000.
X-Men: First Class, which kicked off the new series in 2011, took in US$55.1 million on its debut.
"The global total is going to be around US$262 million after just one weekend," Phil Contrino, chief analyst at BoxOffice.com, said. "That's incredibly impressive."
Fox said in a statement the film had the highest-grossing opening weekend globally of the X-Men franchise.
The US Memorial Day weekend routinely ranks among the biggest of the year for Hollywood.
Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End, part of the Walt Disney adventure series, collected a record for the long weekend with US$139.8 million in 2007, according to Rentrak.
Fox scheduled X-Men a few weeks before soccer's World Cup is due to start, to ensure that its young male audience isn't preoccupied on its release.
The movie had an estimated production budget of US$200 million, according to Box Office Mojo, and has received a favourable reception, with a positive rating of 90 per cent from Rottentomatoes.com, a reviews aggregator.