Not even Wolverine's healing factor looks to be enough to stop the box-office malaise that's infected several big-budget action films this summer.
"The Wolverine," the latest in a long line of X-Men-related films from Fox, was expected to bring in somewhere between $75 million and $80 million domestically in its opening weekend. But based on the $21 million it brought in on Friday, The Hollywood Reporter is expecting the film to bring in something closer to $56 million -- which puts it in line with the "X-Men: First Class" opening of $54 million.
High Jackman's latest turn as Wolverine -- a role he's been playing for more than a decade now -- opens four years after Logan's first solo film, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine." That film brought in $85 million in May of 2009 and grossed $373 million worldwide. Unlike its predecessor, "The Wolverine" is actually getting generally good reviews.
"As a standalone adventure set in the 'X-Men' Cinematic Universe we've come to know and (sometimes) love, 'The Wolverine' is unexpectedly good," wrote CBR's Josh Wigler in his review. "Fans have few reasons to trust that 'X-Men' movies are going to hit the right marks, thanks to blunders like 'X-Men: The Last Stand' and 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine.' And yes, this movie has its share of creative mistakes. But even as the movie falls from great heights and lands with a thud, its legs aren't broken for long. Like Logan, 'The Wolverine' heals and beats those wounds with sheer ferocity. It's well worth seeing."
Directed by James Mangold, "The Wolverine" also stars Tao Okamoto, Will Yun Lee, Svetlana Khodchenkova and Hiroyuki Sanada.