There appears to be little doubt that X-Men Origins Wolverine will open this weekend with the biggest gross of the year -- possibly as high as $120-130 million -- thereby setting a record for the first weekend in May, according to box-office prognosticators (who, incidentally, have had a lousy record themselves this year). Some indication of how big the opening gross will be may come as early as Friday when the tally for tonight's (Thursday) midnight opening in about 1,500 theaters comes in. Twentieth Century Fox, which is releasing the film, is making no grandiose predictions for it, with executives telling the Hollywood Reporter that they would deem a $70-million bow to be "acceptable." And Fox sales manager Chris Aronson told TheWrap.com "The expectation bar has to be set at a realistic place. It's a spin-off of a movie that's been sequelized twice." Over the same weekend last year, Iron Man opened with $102.1 million. The last X-Men feature, The Last Stand took in $122.9 million in its first weekend three years ago. The current sequel (or "prequel") faces four potential obstacles 1. Widespread viewing of a pirated workprint that was posted online at the end of March; 2. Considerable negative buzz on fansites; 3. Overwhelmingly negative early reviews (see separate item); 4. Competition from the Matthew Mcconaughey romcom, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past , which has been tracking strongly.

30/04/2009