‘The Wolverine’ Claws Its Way To Box Office Victory

 @ericbrownzzz
on July 29 2013 12:00 AM

“The Wolverine” may have underperformed slightly at the box office this weekend, but  Marvel Entertainment’s murderous mutant still came out on top. The New York Times reported that 20th Century Fox executives had initially hoped for an opening-weekend gross of between $75 million and $85 million, but “The Wolverine” managed to rake in only $55 million in its debut weekend. Still, as the only big-budget release this weekend, “The Wolverine” was able to grab the top spot at the box office, beating out last week’s winner, the low-budget horror flick “The Conjuring” and its $22 million. 

Adopting a darker tone than previous entries in the “X-Men” film series, “The Wolverine” received much better reviews than its 2009 predecessor “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” but it couldn’t top that movie at the box office. “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” also opened at No. 1, but it earned a little more than $85 million its first weekend, far above the comparable figure for “The Wolverine.”

“The Wolverine” fared much better at the foreign box office, however, bringing in an additional $86 million for a $141 million total gross.

“We’re incredibly happy with this result,” Reuters quoted Chris Aronson, president of domestic distribution for 20th Century Fox, as saying. “It’s good news on a global scale, and this is a global business.”

Meanwhile, the Ryan Reynolds “Men in Black” wannabe “R.I.P.D.” continued its downward slope on the way to becoming the biggest flop of the year. After two weeks, the $130 million production has earned only $24 million at the domestic box office, pointing toward a serious loss of money. Foreign results haven’t been much better, giving “R.I.P.D.” an abysmal $37 million worldwide total.

In nonblockbuster news, the independent drama “Fruitvale Station” earned a wide release this weekend, expanding from just 34 theaters to 1,064 screens across the country. The drama, based on a true police shooting of an unarmed black man at a San Francisco BART station, clocked in at No. 10 for the weekend with a domestic gross of $4.7 million and total gross of $6.3 million.

Check out the top 10 movies of the week, according to Box Office Mojo:

1) “The Wolverine” -- $55.0 million
2) “The Conjuring” -- $22.1 million
3) “Despicable Me” -- $16.0 million
4) “Turbo” -- $13.3 million
5) “Grown Ups 2” -- $11.5 million
6) “Red 2” -- $9.4 million 
7) “Pacific Rim” -- $7.5 million
8) “The Heat” -- $6.9 million
9) “R.I.P.D.” -- $5.9 million
10) “Fruitvale Station” -- $4.7 million

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