X-Men: The Last Stand grossed an estimated$107m at the North American box office over the weekend, becoming the fourthbiggest US opener in history and the biggest ever over the Memorial Day holidayweekend.
The estimate -- released on Sunday by 20thCentury Fox, which made the film with Marvel Entertainment -- was for the firstthree days of the holiday weekend and came from 3,690 theatres, giving the filman impressive per-theatre average of $28,997. The tally will be even higherwhen four-day estimates are issued on Monday, the last day of the holidayweekend.
The comic book sequel beat the Memorial Day openingweekend record of $90.2m established (over four days) in 1997 by The LostWorld: Jurassic Park. And Last Stand ranked behind only 2002's Spider-Man,last year's Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, and 2004's Shrek2 in the all-time domestic three-day opening weekend table.
Last Stand easily topped the openings of2000's original X-Men (which started with $54.5m and went on to gross$157.3m domestically) and 2003's X2: X-Men United (which opened with$85.6m and ended up with $214.9m).
Starring Hugh Jackman and Halle Berry, with BrettRatner taking over from Bryan Singer as director, Last Stand got mixedreviews but immediately scored with its younger and male-skewing audience,taking $44.1m (the second biggest one-day domestic total ever) on Friday alone.
Though the film is billed as 'the climax of theX-Men trilogy,' the opening could now lead Fox and Marvel to try to extend thefranchise.
Last Stand's worldwide total was notimmediately available because Fox delayed releasing figures for the film's95-territory international launch until Monday.
Last week's North American number one, Sony's TheDa Vinci Code, dropped off heavily this week, falling 56% to an estimated three-daygross of $33.5m from 3,754 theatres (for an average of $8,923). The weekendtake brought the thriller's cumulative domestic total to $136m.
Last week's number two, also in its second week,fared better. Like previous animated family films released just before MemorialDay, Paramount's Over the Hedge held up well over the holiday weekend,sliding only 29% to gross an estimated $27.3m from 4,093 theatres (average -$6,663), for an ongoing total of $76.3m.
The same studio's Mission: Impossible IIIshowed continuing strength, dropping 42% in its fourth week to $6.6m from 3,053theatres (average - $2,156), for a total of $113.9m.
Warner Bros Poseidon also held up reasonablywell, declining 36% to $5.9m from 3,245 theatres (average - $1,818). The film'sdomestic total now stands at $45.5m.
Sony's RV had the strongest legs of all,slipping just 22% to $3.9m from 2,481 (average - $1,572). The family film'stotal now stands at $55.8m.
Next weekend's only new wide release is Universal'sromantic comedy The Break-Up, with Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughnstarring.
Estimated Top Ten North America May 26-28, 2006
Film (Distributor)/Internationaldistribution/Estimated weekend
gross/Estimated total to date
1 (-) X-Men: The Last Stand (Fox) Fox Intl$107m -
2 (1) The Da Vinci Code (Sony) SPRI $33.5m$136m
3 (2) Over The Hedge (Paramount) UIP $27.3m$76.3m
4 (3) Mission: Impossible III (Paramount)UIP $6.6m $113.9m
5 (4) Poseidon (Warner) Warner $5.9m $45.5m
6 (5) RV (Sony) SPRI $3.9m $55.8m
7 (6) See No Evil (Lionsgate) LFI $2.5m$8.5m
8 (7) Just My Luck (Fox) Fox Intl $1.8m$13.4m
9 (9) United 93 (Universal) UIP/StudioCanal$740,000m $29.6m
10 (8) An American Haunting (Freestyle) TheLittle Film Company $700,000 $14.7m