Movie Monday: X-Men First

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MovieMondayXMen-blog2.jpgJust because X-Men was the fittest of the flock and more than just survived the weekend box office race does not mean that Darwin was right. Let’s just get that out in the open right away. But mutations made lots of money nonetheless as X-Men: First Class snagged an estimated $56 million. Not that it had any genetically enhanced competition. No other wide releases arrived in theaters on Friday.

That said, Box Office Mojo is calling the prequel’s performance only “passable,” since the last franchise flick, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, slashed its way through $85 million opening weekend. Passable, for the record, might actually be five degrees too kind when it comes to what Plugged In reviewer Paul Asay thought of the movie from a content/philosophical/spiritual perspective. He wrote,

X-Men: First Class embodies both fierce positivity and rancid negativity. It's a new story loaded with the sorts of themes and ambiguity that made the first X-Men narratives interesting. And it tells us, rightly so, that being good is hard work. All of us, be we mutant or human, must always strive to suppress our baser, more animalistic tendencies and give voice to the better angels of our beings: Charles and the X-Men represent those better angels. Erik and his crew come to represent an embrace of our "true" natures, even though those natures are often quite nasty. There's plenty of scriptural precedent for such a struggle. And there's a pretty large part of me that welcomes the spiritual discussion it naturally prompts. But while X-Men: First Class lauds many of the right things, it dabbles in a host of wrong ones. And while trying to exhort us all to be "better men," it gives us what makes us worse.

The Hangover Part II, which gave us a horrible headache last week, dropped 62% over its second weekend, but it still knocked back $32 million. Kung Fu Panda 2 slipped 49%, making $24 million. Meanwhile, posting big per-theater averages of nearly $20,000, Woody Allen’s latest, Midnight in Paris, expanded a bit (to 147 theaters), picking up almost $3 million. It’s slated to expand even more this Friday, and we’ll have our review ready by then.

Who wrote this?

Steven Isaac served as editor for Plugged In’s NRB- and EPA-award-winning website for more than a decade, orchestrating, managing, scheduling, shaping and tweaking at least 750 reviews and articles annually. He’s a husband and a father of a teenager.


Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  Hithwenur:

Begging your pardon if I'm butting in, Ann, but--Yuppie_word? I did not think that Ann was saying that was Charles' reason. I though Ann was saying that Mystique may have THOUGHT that was Charles' reason.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  Lisbeth:

I've always viewed the X-Men comics as a message about how being different isn't a bad thing.  In X-Men: First Class, all of these mutants feel like outcasts because of their powers and Charles Xavier is trying to make them feel comfortable in their own skin and help them realize that they can do great things with their powers to aid society.  I remember the line from the film's trailer of, "We need society to accept you, but you can't even accept yourselves".  I feel like, too often, those perceived as "different" have too low self-esteem because their views of their differences have been twisted by society's views of difference.  Even today, society can be unkind towards differences.  As for why it had a lackluster opening, I read somewhere that it was because people still remember how terrible X-Men Origins: Wolverine was.  Often, the opening numbers of the previous installment of a franchise serve as a precursor for how well the next installment will do. I will admit that I was a little concerned about this movie after the poor reception to "Wolverine" and "X-Men 3".

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  yuppie_word:

He never told her to cover up just because she was blue. If Mystique had walked into the kitchen in her human form, completely naked, Charles would have told her the exact same thing.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  Ann:

Not that hollywood can have a teachable moment, but I think that is what Charles missed in the second scene with Mystique in the kitchen. When his first reaction is to tell her to get some cloths on, he should have told her that it is because she is a woman, not because she is blue.

However, it would not have worked in the story line, because she might have taken a step to understanding how human she is.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  kate:

Porn? I think that may be a bit of an overstatement. If I recall correctly, Mystique's full body shot was in all of one scene.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  melissa:

Darwins theory aside I was looking forward to the comic book heros coming to the big screen and kicking butt. However I thought that the trashy porn really brought the movie down. There was so much of it that you could not over look it. Sad but the quantity of porn took away from the value of what was a really great story. I really hope that Captain America has more class than X-Men did!

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  JustaResponse:

He never used his powers to further sinful goals as Magneto did, he simply used the beginning to one of his thesis papers on mutation as a pick-up line.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  YetAnotherTeen:

Not that anyone would be surprised after my critical comments on it a few blogs back, but I haven't seen it. And Plugged in's review of it didn't surprise me at all. However, I must point out something in your review: In the end Asay said that he didn't think Charles would agree with the problems in the movie, despite the fact that it was Charles using his mind powers to aid his womanizing. That's a bit contradictory.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  lupinskitten:

I absolutely loved the X-Men film and it disappoints me that it had such a lackluster opening at the box office -- one can only hope that via word of mouth, it will continue to rake in revenue in the coming weeks. It faltered for me on some fronts (for one thing, it wouldn't have hurt them to clothe Emma Frost) but the incredible dynamic between Charles and Erik as their friendship transitioned was compelling, there were some twists and turns I never saw coming, I loved the hint at a developing relationship between Mystique and Magneto (and why it happened), and the scene with the flying submarine was one of the coolest things I have seen in a long time. I find Magento a fascinating villain and appreciated this look into what made him the man he ultimately becomes.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  kate:

I saw First Class this weekend and I enjoyed it. As a Molecular Biology major in college, I don't have any problem with Darwinian theories. As controversial as they are, they are still considered groundbreaking.