WOLVIE success assures us there will be more superhero movies — UPDATE

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No worries! WOLVERINE topped the box office, and set records, and that was just for the number of copywriters who used the words “claws” in their headlines:

Scoring an important win for the franchise, 20th Century Fox’s prequel “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” grossed an estimated $87 million from 4,099 runs to mark the studio’s best-ever non-holiday bow at the domestic box office.

Kicking off the summer tentpole season, “Wolverine” also displayed sharp claws overseas as it grossed $73 million from more than 9,100 runs in 101 markets for a worldwide opening of $160 million. In many individual markets, “Wolverine” saw the best numbers of any film in the franchise.


Let’s face it, it’s pretty hard to fail with a movie starring Hugh Jackman’s ass.

(Also, just maybe, free on the internet isn’t the end of the world.)

UPDATE: WE’ve seen tons o’ claw popping over this movie, but this story by the LA Times’ Ben Fritz points out that the audience was 47 percent female. Bishonen sells! However, there was some erosion of superhero zeal among audiences:

“Wolverine’s” opening is almost exactly on par with the second “X-Men” movie, “X2,” which launched on the same weekend in 2003. Given six years of ticket-price inflation, which has totaled more than 20% in the U.S., equivalent grosses actually indicate a significant drop in audience interest.

Also factor in “Wolverine’s” higher production budget and the industrywide decline in DVD sales, and Fox, along with its financing partner Dune Entertainment, may find its latest film isn’t as profitable as previous ones.

Comments

  1. Marvel should change it’s name to Wolverine comics. Wolverine should replace every character in it’s universe: Spider-Wolverine, Captain Ameri-Wolverine, Hulk-Wolverine, etc. Along with Wolverine and his umpteen dillion offspring we need Uncle Wolverine, Grandpa Wolverine, Great-Aunt Wolverine, Next-door neighbour Wolverine, and Baby Wolverine. How about some other species representing Wolverine (i.e. House-cat Wolverine, Canine Wolverine, and Goldfish Wolverine). We need to see a Wolverine mobile, a Wolverine Cave, and the Wolverine Espresso machine. Wolverine needs to be made President of the Marvel Universe, and as well head of state for every other country in the Marvel universe. DC should consider using Wolverine as much as possible. Why can’t I buy CD’s of Wolverine singing? Where’s Wolverine’s appearance in daytime soap-operas? Why can’t I buy Wolverine brand deodorant or microwave TV dinners?

    Lot’s of room to improve Marvel! Get on it!

  2. Ron, you forgot Wolverine Yellow and Wolverine Blue.

    As for the CDs, Hugh Jackman stars in “The Boy from Oz”, and has a track on the “Flushed Away” soundtrack.

  3. Tommy Raiko says:

    “Let’s face it, it’s pretty hard to fail with a movie starring Hugh Jackman’s ass.”

    Was Hugh Jackman’s ass not in AUSTRALIA?

  4. the Freaky Tiki says:

    I guess a full movie leak via the internet can’t derail a movie’s box office haul.

  5. Thomas says:

    AUSTRALIA: 49,6 M domestic B.O.

    DECEPTION: 4,6 M domestic B.O.

    THE PRESTIGE: 53,1 M domestic B.O.

    Fact is with Hugh Jackman, if the claws ain’t a’poppin’, only a tiny fraction of the audience comes a’hoppin’. Sad, but true.

  6. “Fact is with Hugh Jackman, if the claws ain’t a’poppin’, only a tiny fraction of the audience comes a’hoppin’. Sad, but true.

    Opening weekend for 2004′s Jackman leading “Van Helsing”:

    9 May 2004, 06:00 CDT
    LOS ANGELES – Dracula, the Wolf Man and Frankenstein stomped the Olsen twins in the first major box-office contest of the summer blockbuster season. The monster-hunting adventure “Van Helsing,” starring Hugh Jackman as a creature slayer, opened at No. 1 with $54.2 million.

  7. Ray Gilmore says:

    I may not have liked the movie much, but Jackman brings a lot to the part. He looked like he was having fun playing Wolverine, and that says a lot.
    This said, I’m glad it did well, if for no other reason than to justify a Japan/Madripoor-style sequel.
    I wonder how Jackman looks in an eyepatch…

  8. Once again The Internet is neither savior or destroyer.

  9. >>I guess a full movie leak via the internet can’t derail a movie’s box office haul.

  10. Man, old comments platform here…jesus.

    What I was getting at was that the MPAA will use the “leak” as an excuse next week if the drop off is big. Of course this would have nothing to do with the lousy film…

  11. Good call Jimmy. I’m happy for all the actors and people who worked on the film that they got a success out of it, and my only real complaint lies in the possibility 20th C Fox will be the ones to make a Deadpool film, which I can see them easily messing up.

    Dream director for Deadpool, Guy Ritchie. The character has evolved into his kind of humor and take on action in my mind.

  12. Secret Identity says:

    I haven’t read the LA Times piece yet, however the analysis given that in today’s dollars there was actually a drop in interest presupposes that the movie SHOULD have done as well as it’s predecessor. I mean if EVERY film does as well as every other film, then that would be a good barometer by which to judge, but that just doesn’t happen. Each movie is different and draws audiences for different reasons. Besides we’re in a bit of an economic crises here. What that factored into his analysis?

    As far as I’m concerned, to say one film doesn’t do as well as another is to say this orange I’m having for lunch is good, but it doesn’t taste like the apple I had for breakfast.

  13. I’m always a little dismayed to see a story like the LA Times piece quoted here. It assumes all movies are equal and only the actors or genre or whatever are the difference. How about the QUALITY of the movies?

    A quick look at X-men 2 over on RottenTomatoes shows that it reviewed far, FAR better than Wolverine. The percentage is 88% positive vs. 37% for Wolverine. That has to tie into the revenue somehow, doesn’t it? I’m worried that after a number of successful superhero movies over the last several years, producers are going to forget that what MADE them successes wasn’t the genre alone, it was the quality. It’s happened before (Batman & Robin, anyone?)

  14. hounds rye says:

    Got Bandaids?

  15. Alexa says:

    Why is anyone surprised that almost half the audience was female? Between Hugh Jackman being naked (and wet!) half the time, Gambit aka every girl of the 18-25 demo’s seven-year-old animated crush, and Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool (and the ladies loooove Deadpool), of course your going to pack the theater with ladytypes.

    I swear, after 300 and Iron Man, haven’t the critics learned not to be surprised when women show up in droves for comic book movies?

  16. Tom Spurgeon says:

    Now I want to see it for the scene where they graft Sylvester Stallone’s right shoulder onto Hugh Jackman’s body.

  17. Bloody Awful Film says:

    “Patrick McEvoy Says:

    A quick look at X-men 2 over on RottenTomatoes shows that it reviewed far, FAR better than Wolverine. The percentage is 88% positive vs. 37% for Wolverine. That has to tie into the revenue somehow, doesn’t it?”

    You tell me. Do you give a crap what a movie rates on Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic before deciding to check it out? Can’t rate a film until after you’ve seen it, and one should assume that the majority of Rotten Tomatoes members are not members of the press or some other privileged class of person thus eliminating their need to pay for a ticket. If anything, it could have a major impact on the revenue of the remaining daily grosses, and it also likely indicates the possibility (or in this case, the absence of the possibility) of repeat viewings which would also affect revenue.

    Anybody else notice how this film would make Gambit about 20-30 years older than Rogue?

  18. Bloody – I guess I didn’t really spell out what I meant to say. The reviews are a good leading indicator of how good a film is. I know from personal anecdotal evidence that Wolverine is getting very ambivalent if not bad word of mouth from actual viewers, and I was using the Rotten tomatoes aggregate as a better (or more measurable) proof of that.

    So yes, I will tell you since you asked: In general, if a movie gets less that 50% on Rotten Tomatoes (in this case far less) it’s not a great film. That translates into bad word-of-mouth and that does affect a movies performance, especially in the second and third weeks.

  19. Bloody Awful Film says:

    “So yes, I will tell you since you asked: In general, if a movie gets less that 50% on Rotten Tomatoes (in this case far less) it’s not a great film.”

    You’re using statistics to determine quality. That’s unfair. It could be a great film that half the viewers didn’t like. Also, it’s not a valid response to the question I asked. As a result, I’m just going to assume you meant to say “if a movie gets less that 50% on Rotten Tomatoes (in this case far less) [I assume] it’s not a great film so I probably won’t watch it.” If that’s the case, I am sorry to hear it. I like to make up my own mind about things before seeking out the opinions of others, but to each their own.

    “That translates into bad word-of-mouth and that does affect a movies performance, especially in the second and third weeks. ”

    By the by, I find it funny how people still use the term “word-of-mouth” when referencing an internet polling website. On the topic at hand, yes that’s exactly what tends to happen.

    Maybe I answered a rhetorical question. Is this a rhetorical question, “That has to tie into the revenue somehow, doesn’t it?” If so, my response was pointless. Which makes this response even more pointless.

    As for my personal viewpoint, I don’t pay any attention to reviews or Rotten Tomatoes until after I’ve seen a film or not at all. I decide what to watch based on its content and participants. From this method, I’ve learned to stay away from films with screenwriting credits by Skip Woods and Justin Marks. I don’t need Rotten Tomatoes to help me there. However, I do understand that for some people reviews and Rotten Tomatoes are important, but what about those people who paid to see the thing before there were any Rotten Tomatoes numbers or reviews to help them made their decision… that’s a rhetorical question.

  20. I guess I am horribly out of touch. This thing was more like XXX or HOOK than it was any of the first two X-Men or Raimi’s Spider-Man. To me, it was a god awful mishmash bearing no resemblance to the Wolverine we know and love. It was just some guy with claws fighting his way through a menagerie.

    Yet people seem to think it was moderately good to lots of fun.

    What am I missing?

    And Deadpool? Seriously? I mean, he’s a great character… but that’s who they chose to go with for the key figure in a Wolvie movie?

  21. Bloody – I’m not asking this to be a wise-ass or anything but you DO know that Rotten Tomatoes is an aggregate of movie *reviewers*, right? It’s not just people going to movies and giving their random opinions, it’s professional film critics. You keep describing it as an “internet polling site” and that’s not what it is at all. Maybe we’re just not on the same page with what RT actually is?

    So yes, I do think that if a majority of critics dislike a film, and if the ones who DO like it are lukewarm in their praise, then yes, the movie in question probably isn’t worth my time unless it’s something I really want to see.

    And lastly, when I say “word of mouth” I’m talking about friends who have seen it and tell you what they think. I’m using the old-fashioned definition there. :)

  22. Bloody Awful Film says:

    “I’m not asking this to be a wise-ass or anything but you DO know that Rotten Tomatoes is an aggregate of movie *reviewers*, right? It’s not just people going to movies and giving their random opinions, it’s professional film critics.”

    It’s both, actually. Can we agree on that? If it’s not both, then why does it ask me to rate a movie when I go there?

    “And lastly, when I say “word of mouth” I’m talking about friends who have seen it and tell you what they think. I’m using the old-fashioned definition there.”

    I understand. You also used it when talking about Rotten Tomatoes, though, and that’s what I was commenting on. You’re not the only one who does that. I was just pointing out how I find it humorous.

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