‘The Wolverine’ claws to the top of box office, rakes in $55M

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‘The Wolverine’ claws to the top of box office, rakes in $55M

LOS ANGELES - “The Wolverine’’ slashed monsters and minions to debut atop the weekend box office.

The Fox film featuring Hugh Jackman’s sixth turn as the claw-wielding superhero opened with $55 million in North America, according to studio estimates Sunday.

Last weekend’s top movie, Warner Bros.’ low-budget horror “The Conjuring,’’ slipped to second place, adding another $22.1 million to its take. “Despicable Me 2’’ was in third with $16 million. The Universal animated sequel, with its cast of cute, yellow minions, has made more than $600 million worldwide since it came out four weeks ago.

“The Wolverine,’’ which is set in Japan and features an international cast, earned another $86.1 million overseas. The film’s opening-week take surpassed the $120 million it cost to make, said Chris Aronson, Fox’s head of domestic distribution.

“It’s a huge opening for the clawed one,’’ he said. “It played equally well from Maine to Maui.’’

Another Fox film, the animated snail-racing tale “Turbo,’’ was in fourth place with $13.3 million. Adam Sandler’s “Grown Ups 2’’ followed with $11.5 million.

Woody Allen’s latest, “Blue Jasmine,’’ enjoyed a stellar opening of its own, though on a much smaller scale. Starring Cate Blanchett, the film opened in just six theaters but still collected $612,767.

“It’s one of the biggest opening per-theater averages ever for a non-animated film,’’ said Paul Dergarabedian of box-office tracker hollywood.com.

Ticket sales this weekend were up almost 30 percent over the same weekend last summer, he said.

“It was a good weekend to be a moviegoer because the choices just got a lot more interesting,’’ Dergarabedian said, noting a mix that includes animated, independent and big-budget action offerings. AP
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