“X-Men: First Class” Tops North American Box Office

Mutants ruled North American movie theaters this weekend as “X-Men: First Class” debuted with an estimated $56 million in ticket sales to dislodge “The Hangover Part II” atop the box office.

Despite the solid numbers, “X-Men: First Class” failed to match the opening weekend gross of its immediate predecessor in the mutant film franchise, “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” which earned $85 million in its opening weekend in 2009. The best opening weekend among the five “X-Men” films was established in 2006 when “X-Men: The Last Stand” grossed a whopping $102.7 million. A 20th Century Fox official, however, said that “First Class’s” earnings were within their expectations, considering that the film doesn’t have a big-name star to carry it, except maybe for Kevin Bacon. “You can’t compare this one to any of the other `X-Men’ movies, except maybe” the first one, Fox distribution executive Chris Aronson said. “Something like `Wolverine’ is a totally unfair comparison because that had a bona fide worldwide star in Hugh Jackman and arguably the most popular character in the `X-Men’ stable.”

“X-Men: First Class” chronicles the beginnings of mutant leaders Professor X and Magneto, who are played by James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender,┬árespectively.

The Top 10 Movies in North America this weekend and their estimated earnings:

1. “X-Men: First Class,” $56 million.

2. “The Hangover Part II,” $32.4 million.

3. “Kung Fu Panda 2,” $24.3 million.

4. “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” $18 million.

5. “Bridesmaids,” $12.1 million.

6. “Thor,” $4.2 million.

7. “Fast Five,” $3.2 million.

8. “Midnight in Paris,” $2.9 million.

9. “Jumping the Broom,” $865,000.

10. “Something Borrowed,” $835,000.