<i>X-Men: First Class</i> Opens Strong, Grossing $3.4M In Midnight Run

X-Men: First Class grossed about $3.4 million in midnight showings at the U.S. box office, a haul that could set the Matthew Vaughn-directed prequel-cum-reboot on a course for a $60-million to $65-million opening weekend.

That's if the performance of Thor is an indication: The Marvel film earned $3.3 million in its midnight run before going on to gross $65.7 million in its first weekend. The Hollywood Reporter notes that 20th Century Fox is, of course, downplaying expectations, suggesting First Class may open somewhere in the $48 million to $55 million range, between 2005's Batman Begins and 2000's X-Men. Others push the estimate to $60 million or more.

The film, which cost an estimated $140 million to produce, has received largely positive reviews, with Comic Book Resources' Adam Rosenberg describing X-Men: First Class as "what happens to a superhero movie when you strip away the blockbuster budget and allow the filmmaker to simply tell a story."

The ensemble cast includes James McAvoy as Charles Xavier, Michael Fassbender as Erik Lensherr, Nicholas Hoult as Hank McCoy, Jennifer Lawrence as Raven Darkholme, January Jones as Emma Frost and Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw.

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