Sequels! Sequels! Sequels! Sequels!  Sequels ruled the roost – a.k.a. the weekend box office – with X-Men: First Class, The Hangover Part II ($31.381 million), Kung Fu Panda 2 ($23.887 million) and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides seizing the top four spots respectively.  #5 Bridesmaids continued to surprise – its total gross of $107.167 million is triple the total movie budget of $32.5 million.

The fifth X-Men movie, the only blockbuster released for the weekend, debuted at #1 with $55.101 million with screenings at about 6,900 screens at over 3,600 theaters but like its release in the series, it was anything but first.  The opening weekend for the original X-Men was $54.471 million at 3,025 theaters in 2000 but would be over $79 million if adjusted to 2010’s ticket price inflation.  Critically, X-Men: First Class was on par with X-Men and X2: X-Men United (see Rotten Tomatoes) saying lots about director Matthew Vaughn’s work to director Bryan Singer’s work.  It was no shock that the movie appealed more to males (58%) over 25 years old (54%) as opposed to the first prequel spin-off, X-Men Origins: Wolverine…maybe it was Hugh Jackman’s rippling muscles and hirsuteness that filled the seats with females (Jackman appears in a cameo in the new movie).  The $55 million was topped internationally with $64 million, landing First Class at #2 overseas.  Fox, the movie’s distributor, has “successfully launched a brand new chapter of this franchise” with the box-office topping film according to Chris Aronson, senior vice president for domestic distribution at the News Corp unit.  Will the next sequel be an Origins film or a follow-up to First Class?

#4 Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides fell 54.8% to $17.954 million with a total domestic gross of $190.2 million.  As Jack Sparrow’s Black Pearl sinks in the US and Canada, the ship remains afloat internationally at #1 over X-Men: First Class.  The weekend’s international treasure chest was overflowing with $69.4 million adding to the total foreign gross, now at $600.4 million.  The movie is certainly sailing the high overseas. (Ok, ok, enough with all the pirate jokes, matey!)

Chris Hemsworth’s Thor eeked out $4.25 million at #6.  The first comic superhero of the summer season has battled to a total domestic gross of 169.122 million.

Check out ‘What To Watch – Theater Edition’ this Friday for this week’s new movie releases…two filmmakers of two generations tag team.

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