Wanted’s $51 Million Opening Sets New Records!

This was a great weekend at the movies with the amount of business in theaters making it one of the Top 10 biggest weekends in box office history. A good portion of that business can be attributed to Universal Studios’ surprise hit Wanted, based on Mark Millar & J.G. Jones’ graphic novel, which opened with an estimated $51 million despite going into the weekend as an underdog against Disney/Pixar Animation’s new movie WALL•E.

This was the first weekend ever where two new movies opened with over $50 million, but Wanted also had the biggest opening for an R-rated movie in June, as well as being the 6th or 7th highest R-rated opening ever. Wanted averaged an impressive $16,000 per-theater, and it’s significant for being Angelina Jolie’s biggest opening ever, surpassing her 2005 summer hit Mr. and Mrs. Smith and her breakout action movie Tomb Raider. That said, it was only Atonement star James McAvoy’s second biggest opening movie after Disney’s The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe in 2005. The well-reviewed action movie is also quite an achievement for Russian director Timur Bekmambetov, whose two previous Russian movies grossed just $2 million between them when released in the United States, despite being record-breaking hits in Russia.

Internationally, Wanted topped the box office with $33 million from 1,922 theaters in 22 markets bringing its worldwide total to an impressive $84 million after three days.

You can read our full box office report here and see the full box office estimates of the top 12 films here.

Source: Box Office Mojo, Edward Douglas