X-Men Make Box Office History With Their ‘Last Stand’

Sequel earns $120.1 million, setting a Memorial Day weekend record.

The X-Men proved that they know the cure for an ailing box-office this weekend, taking over the #1 spot on the top 10 and helping to pull Hollywood out of a ticket-sales slump that “The Da Vinci Code” couldn’t crack.

The third installment in the series, “X-Men: The Last Stand,” bowed at #1 on the box-office top 10 after earning more than $120.1 million over the long weekend, according to early estimates. “The Last Stand” busts the Memorial Day weekend box-office record set by “Shrek 2,” which earned $96 million in 2004.

“X-Men: The Last Stand” stars Hugh Jackman as Wolverine and Halle Berry as Storm, two of the mutants who are faced with the advent of a “cure” for their genetic mutations. The mutant race are now faced with the choice of accepting the cure, which would rid them of their unique powers, or continuing to live with the condition that sets them apart from the rest of humankind (see “Nine Things You Need to Know Before Seeing ‘X-Men’ This Weekend” ).

With “X-Men” taking over the top spot, nearly every other film on the box-office top 10 dropped one notch from last week, led by “The Da Vinci Code.” The film, based on the Dan Brown bestseller of the same name and starring Tom Hanks as a symbologist dispatched to solve the murder of a museum curator, slipped one to #2 this week with $43 million (see “Ian McKellen Sticks Up For Evil In ‘Da Vinci Code,’ ‘X-Men’ “ ).

“Over the Hedge,” the family-friendly animated film featuring the voices of Avril Lavigne, Bruce Willis and Steve Carell, fell from #2 to #3, earning more than $35.3 million. In the film, a group of woodland friends find that a hedge has been erected in the middle of the plot of land they’ve called home, leaving them to wonder whether the grass is really greener on the other side (see “Look Out For Avril, Bruce Willis Digging In Your Trash” ).

“Mission: Impossible III” also dropped a spot this week, falling from #3 to #4 with more than $8.5 million in weekend earnings. The action flick stars Tom Cruise as super spy Ethan Hunt, who calls off his retirement in order to battle the villainous Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman) (see ” ‘Mission: Impossible III’: Hunt Is On”) .

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The action-packed disaster film “Poseidon,” starring Josh Lucas as a cruise passenger fighting to survive after the ship is pulled under by a massive wave, slid from #4 to #5 with $7 million (see ” ‘Poseidon’ Actors — Bruised, Battered And Soaked — Say They Barely Survived”) .

“RV,” a family comedy starring Robin Williams and JoJo, fell from #5 to #6 with $5.3 million. In the film, a father (Williams) rents an RV in the hopes of bringing his family together during a cross-country road trip (see “Robin Williams To ‘RV’ Co-Star JoJo: ‘You The Man!’ “ ).

Rounding out this week’s box-office top 10 are “See No Evil,” which slipped from #6 to #7 with $3.2 million; “Just My Luck,” which fell from #7 to #8 with $2.3 million; “United 93″ which clung to #9 with more than $1 million; and “An American Haunting,” which fell from #8 to #10 with $937,000.

Overall, ticket sales were up from the corresponding weekend last year.

Next week, look for “The Break-Up” to debut on the box-office top 10.

See everything we’ve got on “X-Men: The Last Stand,” “The Da Vinci Code” and “Over the Hedge.”

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