Box Office: 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' Scores $8.1 Million Thursday Night

8:22 AM PST 05/23/2014 by Pamela McClintock

The 20th Century Fox tentpole is expected to pass $100 million over the long Memorial Day weekend, marking the top opening of the year to date.

Bryan Singer's critically acclaimed X-Men: Days of Future Past grossed a strong $8.1 million as it rolled out in 2,900 North American theaters Thursday night at 10 p.m.

The 20th Century Fox tentpole is expected to pass $100 million over the four-day Memorial Day weekend, marking the top opening of the year to date and besting the $95 million, three-day debut of Captain America: The Winter Solider in late April.

Fox is being more cautious in its projections, saying $95 million to $100 million. The studio notes the strength of Godzilla, which heads into its second weekend. Last week, Godzilla took in $9.3 million as it rolled out Thursday night, although it began playing at 7 p.m. The Amazing Spider-Man 2, opening at 8 p.m. Thursday night, took in $8.7 million.

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Singer, who directed the first two X-Men films, withdrew from promoting Days of Future Past after a sex abuse lawsuit was filed against him.

The $200 million-plus movie features actors from the original X-Men trilogy of films and X-Men: First Class, including Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Peter Dinklage, Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen.

Singer produced the well-reviewed Days of Future Past alongside Lauren Shuler Donner, screenwriter Simon Kinberg and Hutch Parker.

Days of Future Past also opens internationally this weekend.

The other new nationwide offering in North America is the Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore comedy Blended, which may have trouble getting much past $30 million in its debut. One mitigating factor is the film's relatively modest $45 million budget.

The Warner Bros. movie, reuniting the stars for the third time, revolves around two single parents who end up on an African safari together with their kids.

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