“The Wolverine” dominated the U.S. box office over the weekend, but the estimated $55 million haul for the Hugh Jackman superhero movie was less than distributor Fox had hoped for.
It didn’t come close to matching the $85 million three-day debut 2009’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” and could wind up being the lowest domestic opening in the six-film “X-Men” franchise. “X-Men: First Class” debuted to $55.1 million in 2011 and the original “X-Men” opened to $54.4 million back in 2000.
But the Marvel comics-inspired “Wolverine” was a force overseas this weekend. It opened in 126 countries – every major market except Japan and China — and brought in $86 million, the best foreign opening for an X-Men movie ever. And Its $141 million in first-weekend global grosses surpasses its $115 million production budget.
The significance of the international number in today’s market can’t be underestimated; Hollywood’s biggest films typically take in roughly 70 percent of their grosses from overseas these days. “The Wolverine” finds Jackman’s mutant loner in Japan where he takes on the Yakuza and grapples with the loss of his healing powers.