Summer continues on strongly as Memorial Day, one of the bigger movie weekends of the year, marks the start of kids getting out of school and the real summer bucks rolling in. The latest installment in the X-Men franchise, Days of Future Past, claimed $90.7 million for the three-day weekend and likely going on to the mid-$100 million range by the time Monday’s out. That makes it the fourth biggest opening weekend of 2013 and the second highest non-adjusted opening for an X-Men movie (the much-reviled third installment, The Last Stand, made $102 million Fri-Sun and $124 million through Monday during the same Memorial Day period in 2006). The movie also racked up $171 million overseas, putting it at a hea;th $261 million overall.
The other big release was the latest self-admitted paid vacation from the Adam Sandler production house, and his third pairing with Drew Barrymore, Blended. Even with its small budget of $40 million and the cast that’s served Sandler so well in the past, it opened in third place with $14.2 million, one of the weakest openings ever for a Sandler film (That’s My Boy opened to $13 million two years ago and was one of his first high profile non-drama flops). It’s unlikely that the movie’s going to pick up much business in the coming weeks, what with the toxic reviews and the vast majority of Sandler fans having already gone to see it, so with this second flop in less than five years, prepare yourselves for plenty of thinkpieces on the state of Sandler’s career, ignoring the fact that his two films before this (Hotel Transylvania and Grown-Ups 2) made $148 and $133 million, respectively.
Everything else held fairly well, with two other movies of note in terms of falls/gains. Godzilla, last week’s number 1, dropped to second place with $31 million, and though it’s already a hit, that represents a precipitous 66 percent drop from the previous weekend, suggesting that the word-of-mouth reviews aren’t that great for it. Thankfully, it’s already passed the gross of the last American entry in the franchise. And Jon Favreau’s Chef went wider this weekend, bumping up to 498 theaters and making $2.2 million, a 218 percent increase from last week and putting it at $3.5 million overall.
Next week brings Maleficent and A Million Ways to Die in the West, both of which should do fairly well, unless the public’s taste for Disney and Seth Macfarlane has abated.