Arab Today, arab today \xmen\ set to soar at us holiday box office
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\'X-Men\' set to soar at US holiday box office

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Arab Today, arab today \'X-Men\' set to soar at US holiday box office

Los Angeles - AFP

The latest "X-Men" blockbuster is expected to take North America's box office by storm this weekend, as the mutant superhero gang reunites for one of the biggest US film-going holidays of the year. "X-Men: Days of Future Past", a time-bending movie that is already a hit with critics, could make up to $110 million over the extended Memorial Day weekend that runs through Monday -- the unofficial kick-off of the summer movie season. The film, in which Hugh Jackman's saber-knuckled Wolverine travels back in time to save the earth from a devastating war, could become one of the biggest grossing movies of all time, according to industry journal Variety. Review website Rotten Tomatoes gave it a huge 91 percent approval rating, saying it "combines the best elements of the series to produce a satisfyingly fast-paced outing that ranks among the franchise's finest installments." The star-studded cast -- including Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Michael Fassbender and Halle Berry -- probably won't hurt the bottom line either. It features three Oscar-winning actresses -- Berry, Jennifer Lawrence and Anna Paquin -- and multiple Academy Award nominees including McKellen, Jackman and Fassbender. "The reviews have been great and we're confident that everyone, X-fans and non-X-fans, will see this movie and really like it," Chris Aronson, president of domestic distribution at 20th Century Fox, told Variety. There was repeated applause at a special preview screening of the movie in Hollywood this week, ahead of its US release on Friday. It opened Thursday in many countries around the world. A big opening for "X-Men" would continue a solid run this year for films starring characters from the Marvel Comics universe. Sequel "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" led the North American box office for three weeks in April, and "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" opened in the top spot earlier this month. - Time-traveling Wolverine - The high-adrenaline film features all the characters from the original trilogy (2000, 2003, 2006), but also includes both their older and younger selves, introduced in 2011's "X-Men: First Class". The action alternates between a dystopian 2023, when humans and mutants are both under attack by an army of super-powerful Sentinels leaving the world teetering on the brink of oblivion, and 1973. The mutants' father-figure teacher Professor X (played by Stewart) is forced to send Jackman's lupine character back to the 1970s to tamper with history to head off a cataclysmic war. Specifically, he has to stop Raven/Mystique -- the shape-shifting mutant played by Lawrence, in full blue body make-up and showing off all her curves -- from falling into human hands. That is because, with samples of her DNA, they created the Sentinel robot fighters. To do this, Wolverine has to find the younger versions of his mutant cohorts, including Quicksilver, who unfortunately is held captive in a vault under the middle of the Pentagon, for allegedly killing President John F. Kennedy. There is one particularly stylish -- and funny -- scene where Quicksilver uses his lightning-fast abilities to help them escape, which almost got a standing ovation in the preview screening theater. Without giving away the plot, the finale set in Washington will also probably delight anyone who likes a spectacle. Critics are happy. "Bryan Singer returns to blockbuster form," said the Variety review, referring to the director who made this and the first two X-Men movies, and who had to sit out promotion in recent weeks due to a sex assault lawsuit filed against him. "Singer has pulled together an ambitious, suspenseful screen chapter that secures a future for the franchise while facilitating continued reinvention," echoed the Hollywood Reporter. This weekend will tell if fans -- and studio heads -- will be happy too.

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