The Wolverine Off to a Slow Start as Domestic Box Office Projections Slip

The Wolverine Unrated VersionThe Wolverine

, originally expected to make somewhere between $65 million and $80 million this weekend depending on who you asked, is now projected by its own studio to generate closer to $61 million. Rival studios suggest it could make as little as $56 million, Deadline reports.

That's almost $30 million less than X-Men Origins: Wolverine opened at four years ago, in spite of the fact that it got terrible word of mouth and carries a score of only 38% on Rotten Tomatoes. That film also had a studio-quality (although pre-effects) leak of a workprint copy that Fox estimates cost the film quite a bit of money (whatever losses they took weren't evident in the film's $180 million domestic take).

If this movie doesn't do more than $150 million domestically, it will put pressure on X-Men: Days of Future Past to really perform for Fox. The Wolverine only cost about $120 million to make, and will almost certainly become quickly profitable due to international box office and promotional/licensing deals that give it an extra boost--but since X-Men: The Last Stand made a franchise-best $246 million domestically, the X-films have been in box office free fall, with X-Men Origins: Wolverine taking home $180 million and then X-Men: First Class managing less than $150 million in spite of getting the best reviews of the series.