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'The Wolverine' Misses Revenue Expectations, But Still Takes #1 Weekend Spot (FOXA)

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Headlines in the mainstream press indicate that 21st Century Fox's (NASDAQ: FOXA) The Wolverine was a box office disappointment.

The film earned $141 million worldwide last weekend. More than half of that revenue ($86.1 million) came from ticket sales outside of the United States.

Hollywood is typically proud to celebrate a film's global success, but The Wolverine follows a long list of X-Men films that have earned big bucks domestically.

  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine earned $85 million when it first opened in America more than four years ago.
  • X-Men: The Last Stand earned even more, raking in $102 million during its first weekend.
  • X2: X-Men United, the second film in the series, also earned $85 million within its first three days at the box office.

Critically, X-Men Origins: Wolverine was the least successful film in the franchise. It received an average Metacritic score of 40 out of 100, compared to a 60 out of 100 average for the other X-Men flicks.

It is not hard to imagine that some moviegoers were so turned off by that film that they were hesitant to see another movie starring the same character.

X-Men: First Class, which did not feature more than a cameo of Wolverine, only made $55 million during its opening weekend. Thus, it appears that the same people who saw that film -- diehard X-Men fans -- returned for The Wolverine.

This should be seen as a positive for the studio, which has been trying to re-boot the X-Men franchise and breathe new life into the series.

At the same time, The Wolverine's global success should provide 21st Century Fox with renewed confidence in its decision to purchase the X-Men license so many years ago.

If not, the studio could always sell the rights back to Disney (NYSE: DIS), who purchased Marvel a few years ago and would love to bring several key X-Men to The Avengers 2.

Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ

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