Clapboard: Wolverine a Howling Success

LOS ANGELES ~ Hugh Jackman proved a howling success at the North American box office at the weekend as superhero spinoff X-Men Origins: Wolverine, opened in top spot, final figures showed.

The film earned US$85 million in its debut, the second-best X-Men opening after X2: X-Men United made $102.1 million in 2003.

Jackman, a 40-year-old Australian heartthrob named Sexiest Man Alive by People magazine last year, has starred as the mutant superhero Wolverine in the three previous X-Men movies.

Romantic comedy Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, starring Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner, debuted in second place with $15.4 million.

Superstar singer Beyonce’s taut thriller Obsessed earned a cool $12 million, for a total of $46.8 million over two weeks.

The film also stars HBO’s Wire gangster Idris Elba as a businessman whose life is turned upside down by the romantic advances of a new colleague.

Youthful fantasy 17 Again, starring US teen idol Zac Efron, fell from the second to fourth, raking in $6.4 million for a $48.5-million total over three weeks.

Monsters vs Aliens, an animated tale of a rag-tag group of monsters who save the world from destruction, came in fifth place, earning $5.8 million to bring its total to $182.4 million over six weeks.

The Soloist, an inspiring musical tale based on a true story, starring Robert Downey Jr and Jamie Foxx, scored $5.6 million in ticket sales in its second weekend.

Disney’s Earth documentary, in seventh place, culls extraordinary nature footage from the BBC’s landmark series Planet Earth. It brought in $4.3 million in its second weekend.

Miley Cyrus vehicle Hannah Montana: The Movie, came in eighth. The film version of the popular Disney TV series took in $4.1 million for a total of $70.9 million in four weeks.

Fighting pulled few punches to land in ninth, telling the story of small-town boy Channing Tatum trying to make it big in New York City.

The street-fighting flick, featuring intense bare-knuckle scraps, took in $4 million in its second weekend of showing.

Washington-based political thriller State of Play rounded out the top 10 with its A-list cast, raking in $3.7 million in its third weekend.

Starring Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams and Helen Mirren, the thriller centres on reporters and police trying to solve the murder of a young lawmaker’s mistress.

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