Box Office Report: 'X-Men: First Class' Does Good Midnight Business

11:05 AM PST 06/03/2011 by Pamela McClintock
20th Century Fox

The origins pic grosses $3.4 million in its initial launch at the domestic box office.

Twentieth Century Fox’s X-Men: First Class grossed an estimated $3.4 million in midnight runs at the domestic box office in a strong start for the origins pic.

The tally was on par with the $3.3 million earned by Thor in midnight grosses last month.

Fox was pleased with the number, considering First Class is a reboot.

Fox, looking to manage expectations, says First Class should open somewhere between Batman Begins and the first X-Men, meaning $48 million to $55 million for the weekend. Others believe the prequel could gross more, even $60 million, but they concede tracking has been off in recent months.

And if First Class continues to match Thor, it could earn closer to $65 million in its opening (Thor grossed $65.7 in its first weekend).

Directed by British filmmaker Matthew Vaughn, First Class has a decidedly different feel than its predecessors. The pic--costing close to $140 million to produce--has drawn largely positive reviews, both from fanboys and critics.

Instead of relying on A-list Hollywood stars, Fox instead turned to a cadre of up-and-coming actors to play the young mutants. Starring opposite James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender are Jennifer Lawrence, January Jones, Nicholas Hoult and Zoe Kravitz. Kevin Bacon plays the villain.

Following its midnight runs, First Class movies into a total of 3,641 theaters at the domestic box office.

Overseas, First Class got off to a strong start in France, where it opened Wednesday, and in Australia, where it opened Thursday, although numbers weren’t available yet. Major territories where First Class doesn’t open this weekend

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