'The Wolverine' claws way to top of box office

Monday - 7/29/2013, 1:20pm EDT

SANDY COHEN
AP Entertainment Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- "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.

"Fruitvale Station," the Sundance winner already generating Oscar buzz, expanded to theaters across the country and edged its way into the top 10, contributing to a summer box office that is up more than 10 percent over last year.

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Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Hollywood.com. Where available, latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released on Monday.

1. "The Wolverine," $55 million ($86.1 million international).

2. "The Conjuring," $22.1 million ($6.9 million international).

3. "Despicable Me 2," $16 million ($24.5 million international).

4. "Turbo," $13.3 million ($12.5 million international).

5. "Grown Ups 2," $11.5 million ($4.2 million international).

6. "Red 2," $9.4 million ($6.1 million international).

7. "Pacific Rim," $7.5 million ($14.25 million international).

8. "The Heat," $6.85 million ($3.1 million international).

9. "R.I.P.D.," $5.85 million ($3.1 million international).

10. "Fruitvale Station," $4.65 million.

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Estimated weekend ticket sales at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada) for films distributed overseas by Hollywood studios, according to Rentrak:

1. "The Wolverine," $86.1 million.

2. "Fast & Furious 6," $25.3 million.

3. "Despicable Me 2," $24.5 million.

4. "White House Down," $19.8 million.

5. "Monsters University," $15.6 million.

6. "Pacific Rim," $14.25 million.

7. "Turbo," $12.5 million.

8. "The Conjuring," $6.9 million.

9. "Red 2," $6.1 million.

10. "World War Z," $5.6 million.

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Follow AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen at www.twitter.com/APSandy .

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Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by News Corp.; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.


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