X-Men: Box Office Aftermath
Days of Future Past poster
By Scott Sycamore     Published June 1, 2014
I didn’t take into account {that} most decent people do not want to support a sex offender. Some folks avoid shelling out money no matter how cool the movie looks.
Well, I fucked up again. Yup, I made an inaccurate box office prediction for the umpteenth time. This reminds me of when I said The Dark Knight would do “okay” the opening weekend. Clearly, I am not a professional movie receipt predictor, nor should I be allowed anywhere near an internet-ready device anytime opinions about this topic are forming in my brain. To contrast with my reviewing, where I’m pretty much always right, these box office forced predictions are just me trying to take my best guess about the “Future.” I’m trying to tell you what the near-timeline will bring at your local theater and beyond; in grading and writing about movies I’ve already seen, I am merely relaying to you what sucks about the “Past,” and what you can expect from the “Present” in your own film-going universe.

Here’s why I fucked up: I didn’t take into account the Bryan Singer pedophilia scandal. I wrote an initial article about this topic which was struck down by the powers that be on this web-site. In it, I had some harsh words for Senor Singer, and wondered aloud if it would affect the film’s box office performance. Like many times in life when your instincts kick in, I should’ve listened to myself. To clarify, I don’t mean instincts like the ones Bryan Singer has, which causes him to sexually manipulate underage boys. The public mind was in fact inundated with information about the Singer case mere weeks before the film bowed. This left a taste in the audience’s mouth worse than the one Singer leaves with his victims at parties and retreats. Most decent people do not want to support a sex offender. Some folks are even principled enough to avoid shelling out money for a piece of entertainment associated with said creep, no matter how cool they may think the movie looks. This true-crime blanket effect surely seeped into the audience’s consciousness.

Another thing I may have overlooked is the generally poor reaction (not least my own) to the standalone Wolverine movies. The last one, and the most recent X-Men related title, was yet another letdown that just wasn’t picking up the potatoes. It was another throwaway of the X-verse which failed to move forward in any meaningful way from 2009’s Originals film. I’m thinking the general audience is with me on this one. So, it’s hard for the mass public to get psyched up to see Hugh Jackman grimace his way through another flick that could be a lot better. Despite the rest of the cast from the original X movies going dark for years, Wolverine has remained front and center. By not opening up the franchise to give other characters from the series some breathing room, Fox has shot itself in the foot in terms of public good will. They have never fully capitalized on what they have in the X-Men franchise in the same way that Disney has done with its own Marvel properties.

So while I predicted that the opening 4-day would be $120 - 130 million, it actually came in at a nice round $110 million. Still terrific, but as we know, it was the inflated 3-day Memorial Weekend, which made the film seem bigger than it really is. The regular weekend numbers were exactly on par with Godzilla and TASM2, but are actually less impressive in this case considering that Monday was a day off for almost everybody. That means that Sunday night should’ve had much better attendance. Also, this flick dropped off 74% from Friday to Friday; this means that the overall audience was truly not feeling it.

I figured that the fan-boys would in fact enjoy this thing, but clearly it hasn’t struck a chord with mainstream audiences. Yes, it will still be a $200+ million juggernaut when the smoke has cleared, but without the problems outlined in this article, it could have been twice as big. Look for the domestic cume to be in the $230 - 240 million range, but still with strong overseas that could put it above $700 million worldwide. That’s right in Man of Steel territory, which also experienced major problems with viewer nitpicks. I’m seeing a lot of articles about continuity errors in DOFP, and that doesn’t bode well for enduring fandom either.

Have I answered your questions? Did you even have any in the first place? I hope I have given you a nice summary of why this joint did not perform as well as it could have. At least I have the cajones to re-analyze where I went wrong after the fact, and can take steps to set the mother ship back on its course in terms of accuracy. Check out my review for opinions of the actual viewing experience. And one more thing: Stick around for my upcoming predictions for more misleading data.
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'Days of Future Past' Articles
  • Scott's Days of Future Past review B-
    May 25, 2014    The high stakes melodrama mixed with the time travel conceit makes for an intoxicating fan-boy aroma. -- Scott Sycamore
  • Box Office Outlook: X-Men
    May 22, 2014    Due to this extremely advantageous release positioning, I predict $120 – 130 million for 4-days. -- Scott Sycamore