Welcome to the Box Office Report, where we're betting some Fox executive is telling Hugh Jackman that he's "not mad at him, just disappointed," right this very second.
1. The Wolverine (Fox): $55 million in 3,924 theaters
So, oof. Let's get the oof out of the way quickly. Hugh Jackman returning to the role that made him famous was supposed to draw a lot more money than $55 million. It's his fifth time in the role (not counting his cameo in First Class) and the expectations were closer to the $70 million range, after X-Men Origins earned $89 million in its opening weekend. But a number of thing contributed to this disappointment. The first Wolverine movie was terrible: Origins received a 38 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The hype around this Wolverine project was that it was better than the last one -- Darren Aronofsky was originally attached to direct -- except reviews said it was only a marginal improvement.
But executives and analysts are pointing to simple audience fatigue to explain away the numbers. "There have been times before when audience fatigue from the summer sets in," a Fox executive told Nikki Finke. Buzzfeed's Adam Vary says it's not the heat that's tiring people out, it's the super heroes: "Granted, most non-superhero movies would be thrilled with an opening weekend that good," he writes. "But nonetheless, it plays into the ongoing narrative that Hollywood’s dependency on mega-budgeted films based on Comic-Con-friendly source material is starting to go bad."