The Wolverine didn’t set the world on fire when it opened in North America this past weekend, scoring a series low. Fortunately the contrary happened around the world where the superhero with adamantium claws debuted ahead all previous installments.
The Wolverine took $87.2 million from 101 territories. According to Fox International that’s 12% bigger then franchise best X-Men: The Last Stand and 51% ahead of X-Men: First Class in the same countries. Now The Last Stand ended up with $225 million internationally, the result of and extremely frontloaded release. On the other hand the better received X-Men: First Class went on to gross 207.2 million internationally, despite opening considerably lower. So far The Wolverine seems to be going the route of First Class (when it comes to box office legs), so I’m expecting somewhere between $250 and 300 million internationally for over $400 million worldwide. For now The Wolverine has $150.7 million worldwide on a $120 million budget. If a standalone release starring just Wolverine (although still the most popular X-Men) can make so much money, then next year’s X-Men: Days of Future Past might be in a better position than I initially thought.
Fast and Furious 6 opened in China with a Universal record of $24.3 million, enough to push the film’s weekend to $25.6 million for 2nd place. Internationally the fast sequel just passed $500 million, making it the 2nd film to do so in 2013 (Iron Man 3 is still first). Now worldwide Fast and Furious 6 has $741.1 million, on its way to $780-800 million. Considering the last one did $626.1 million, and that too was a huge improvement on the one before, I’m blown away by the consistency and increasing popularity of this series.
Despicable Me 2 came in 3rd with 25.2 million for a new international total of $354.5 million. That’s already way more than Despicable Me‘s $291.6 million international final tally. Worldwide Despicable Me 2 ranks as the 3rd highest grossing feature of 2013 with $663.5 million. So basically Universal Pictures has both #2 and 3 right now, not a bad place to be for a studio that used to struggle not long ago, barely getting a movie in the top 10 by the end of a year (in 2009 they had none).
White House Down was a surprise hit in China, opening with $18.5 million and pushing this action flick to $19.8 million over the weekend and $45.6 million overall internationally. With a reported budget of $150 million and only $116.3 million worldwide, White House Down is sure to go down (terrible pun intended) as one of the biggest box office flops of the year.
Monsters University rounds out the top 5 with $15.6 million. The animation has so far banked $321.6 million internationally and $577.5 million worldwide. Among past Pixar releases, Monsters University is now 6th and still climbing.