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JUN
2
5 YEARS

BULLSEYE, June 3: 'X-Men,' 'Super 8,' 'Bad Teacher,' 'Transformers,' More

Which movies are audiences actually going to see?

The X Suit
Murray Close/Twentieth Century Fox

X-Men marks the spot for the June 3 weekend.

As the Bullseye makes clear, fanboys are pumped for the mutant prequel Fox has hitting theaters Friday. X-Men: First Class is the only new major studio release in the offing, and with as much visibility and intense interest as it's showing it's likely to open above $50 million. Just how much above is prompting wildly different estimates. Warner Bros.' Hangover sequel will be a strong holdover, but it won't draw too much away from Magneto, Professor X and Co. X-Men Origins: Wolverine opened at $85 million two years ago, but that had Hugh Jackman and his shiny claws in the top slot, and Last Stand hit north of $100 million in 2006. No one expects First Class to get over those.

 

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Given the people involved, J.J. Abrams' Super 8 should be showing more appeal in the lead-up to its June 10 release. But Paramount's super-stealth campaign, the film's lack of stars and the fact that the material is not based on any pre-existing property seem to be hurting its visibility with young viewers. Fans closer to my age who grew up on the Spielberg films that Abrams is honoring seem to be more intrigued. But we don't often get out opening night. And female interest so far, remarkably, remains worse even than X-Men, Green Lantern and Transformers.

Flixster Want-to-See ratings for X-Men, Super 8 and Lantern are 97 percent, 92 percent and 96 percent respectively.

Relativity's kids' comedy Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer is scheduled for a June 10 release as well, with a bare minimum of female interest to date.

Warner Bros.' Green Lantern is building good steam ahead of its June 17 drop, with early interest so far typically intense. Meanwhile, the other dude-heavy release -- Paramount's Transformers: Dark of the Moon -- is looming large four weeks out. It has the benefit of coming after two other movies in the franchise and exploiting 3D technology to amplify the experience, so pre-awareness is enormous. (Check out director Michael Bay and James Cameron discussing the film's 3D use in this exclusive video.)

Fox's Mr. Popper's Penguins (June 17) and Columbia's Bad Teacher (June 24) are definitely on the radar, while Disney/Pixar's Cars 2 (June 24) has already parked itself right over the bullseye. With three weeks to go yet before release, the four-quadrant animated sequel is only going to rev up louder and larger.

Here's Pamela McClintock's box office preview for the weekend for added analysis.