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Twentieth Century Fox’s prequel X-Men: First Class grossed $21 million in its Friday debut at the domestic box office, and is on track to meet expectations and earn $55 million for the weekend.
The domestic box office should be up 20% from last year once weekend grosses are tallied, thanks to the relaunch of Fox’s marquee superhero franchise and a cadre of holdovers, led by Warner Bros.’ The Hangover Part II.
Directed by Matthew Vaughn, First Class drew a B+ CinemaScore, with 59% of the audience over the age of 25. Males repped 61% of those buying tickets, in line with previous installments in the X-Men franchise.
PHOTOS: ‘X-Men: First Class’ Style
The fifth film in the X-Men universe has a decidedly different feel than its predecessors. Set in the 1960s against the backdrop of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Cold War, First Class introduces Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lensherr (Michael Fassbender) just as they’re discovering their mutant powers.
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 McAvoy and Fassbender are Jennifer Lawrence, January Jones, Nicholas Hoult and Zoe Kravitz. Kevin Bacon plays the villain.
Fox, looking to manage expectations, had said going into the weekend that First Class should open in the range of the first X-Men movie, which opened to $54 million.
PHOTOS: ‘The Hangover’ Stars: Before They Were Famous
Hangover came in No. 2 behind First Class at the Friday box office, grossing an estimated $10.5 million. The R-rated comedy fell a steep 65% from a week ago — a holiday weekend — but is on track to gross $33 million to $35 million for the weekend, pushing its domestic cume close to $190 million.
DreamWorks Animation and Paramount’s Kung Fu Panda 2 placed No. 3, falling 52% in its second Friday to an estimated $6.3 million for a domestic cume of $82.4 million.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides grossed $5.1 million for a domestic gross of $177.3 million to come in No. 4.
Universal’s R-rated female comedy Bridesmaids continued to hold in nicely as it sped towards the $100 million mark, grossing $3.6 million on Friday for a cume of $98.7 million.
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