Despite last month's online release of a pirated workprint, competition from the telecast of a Saturday-night NBA game between the Celtics and Bulls, and a slew of unwelcoming reviews, Twentieth Century Fox's X-Men Origins Wolverine made the cut as a box-office contender over the weekend as it took in an estimated $87 million. The figure was in line with most analysts' predictions, although a few had forecast that it would rake in well over $100 million. (The Los Angeles Times called the result "somewhat impressive.") Over the same weekend a year ago, Iron Man took in $98.6 million. Ghosts of Girlfriends Past , starring Matthew Mcconaughey, landed in second place with $15.3 million -- at the low end of analysts' estimates. A third new release, Battle for Terra, a computer-animated 3-D movie that received little marketing and could only find about 400 theaters that could screen the 3-D version, wound up with just $1.1 million. (In his positive review, Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert argued that the film should properly be viewed in 2-D. "The 3-D adds nothing and diminishes the light intensity, as if imposing a slightly cloudy window between the viewer and a brightly colored wonderland," Ebert wrote. On the other hand, Justin Berton in the San Francisco Chronicle wrote that the 3-D technology provides "a full, 360-degree immersion that serves the storytelling in every frame." And Claudia Puig in USA Today called the 3-D visuals "arresting.") Overall, the box-office raked in about $148 million -- about the same amount that it recorded over the comparable weekend a year ago. But it was down considerably from 2007 when the debut of Spider-Man 3 took in $151 million on its own.
The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates 1. X-Men Origins Wolverine, $87 million; 2. Ghosts of Girlfriends Past , $15.3 million; 3. Obsessed , $12.2 million; 4. 17 Again , $6.4 million; 5. Monsters vs. Aliens , $5.8 million; 6. The Soloist, $5.6 million; 8. Earth , $4.18 million; 7. Fighting, $4.17 million; 9. Hannah Montana The Movie, $4.1 million; 10. State of Play, $3.7 million.