Movies

The Wolverine had plenty of bark at the box office, and just enough bite

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MUMBAI: The sixth installment of the X-Men franchise clawed its way to $55 million this weekend, according to studio estimates from box-office trackers Hollywood.com.

While the debut was plenty to win the weekend - there were no other major newcomers as studios cleared a path for the comic-book adaptation - the opening fell short of analysts' projections, which called for a bow of at least $65 million.

Still, it snapped the string of high-priced live-action films that couldn't claim the weekend crown. Last week, the $20 million horror flick The Conjuring opened to $42 million, crushing the $130 million supernatural film R.I.P.D., which debuted to a dismal $13 million. Similarly, Pacific Rim ($37 million), The Lone Ranger ($29 million) and White House Down ($25 million) opened well below projections, falling to cheaper movies and animated films.

While Wolverine's opening was solid for a sixth franchise installment, analysts wondered whether moviegoers are suffering mutant fatigue. The previous Wolverine film, 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine, debuted to $85 million.

But the new film resonated with viewers, which could help its run through a typically arid August at theaters. About 68 per cent of critics gave Wolverine a thumbs-up, and the movie scored an A-minus from moviegoers, says grading site CinemaScore.

Among the holdovers, Conjuring took second with $22.1 million, followed by the animated comedy Despicable Me 2 with $16 million.

The animated Turbo was fourth with $13.3 million, while Adam Sandler's comedy Grown Ups 2 rounded out the top five with $11.5 million.

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