'The Wolverine' to Slash Competition With $75M to $80M Opening

For once, Wolverine might actually help stop the bleeding. The box office hasn't been friendly to big-budget action films this summer, with White House Down, The Lone Ranger and R.I.P.D. performing badly. But Fox has an adamantium-clawed ace up its sleeve with The Wolverine.

Variety reports the James Mangold-directed film is projected to open gross somewhere between $75 million and $80 million domestically in its opening weekend. Fox's The Wolverine also opens Friday in 62 international markets.

If it does meet expectations , that will place The Wolverine in good standing with the X-franchise. Both the first film and the latest entry, X-Men: First Class, earned $54 million their opening weekends, while X2 and X-Men: The Last Stand made $86 and $102 million, respectively. Even X-Men Origins: Wolverine performed in that same arena, bringing in $85 million in its first frame.

Opening Friday, The Wolverine stars Hugh Jackman as Logan, Svetlana Khodchenkova as Viper, Will Yun Lee as Silver Samurai, Tao Okamoto as Mariko Yashida, Rila Fukushima as Yukio, Hiroyuki Sanada as Shingen Yashida, Hal Yamanouchi as Yashida and Brian Tee as Noburo Mori. The film is based in part on the 1982 Wolverine miniseries by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller.

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