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'X-Men Origins: Wolverine' and Hugh Jackman slay box office — awards next?

May 3, 2009 |  3:22 pm

"X-Men Origins: Wolverine" took out Hugh Jackman's claws and slashed through those vicious film critics' reviews (only 37 score at RottenTomatoes, 44 at Metacritic), making a penetrating impact at the box office. "Wolverine" snared $87 million this weekend in the U.S., $170 million worldwide.


Whew. That's an impressive rally, which E! Online credits with being an "Oscar bump." The New York Times had growled over "Wolverine:" "It is the latest evidence that the superhero movie is suffering from serious imaginative fatigue." Fending off those kinds of savage attacks early on, "Wolverine" looked like it may be up for Razzies and I worried that poor Hugh Jackman may be kudos cursed. Just a few months ago, his thrilling "Australia" got cheated out of deserving Oscar love by grumpy critics, some of whom were the same assassins who went gunning for him after Hugh did a masterful job rescuing the Oscar ceremony as host.

I have a theory about why these critics predictably take aim at him — it's all about testosterone-blinded nerds furious over his metrosexual appeal — but let's move on. Let's weigh the other awards potential of "Wolverine." The first "X-Men" (2000) flick earned noms at the MTV Movie Awards for best film, on-screen team and breakthrough male performance (Hugh Jackman) but lost to, respectively, "Gladiator," the "Charlie's Angels" gals and — yikes — Sean Patrick Thomas ("Save the Last Dance"). Halle Berry lost best actress to Drew Barrymore ("Charlie's Angels"). "X-Men" was nommed by the sound editors' guild but lost to "Gladiator" and competed at the costume guild but lost to "Erin Brockovich." Usually, films that get recognized by industry guilds break through with corresponding noms at the Oscars, but "X-Men" didn't.

"Wolverine" may contend at some of those kudos again. What about other possibilities? Its music-score composer, Harry Gregson-Williams, was nominated at the Golden Globes for "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" (2005) and at BAFTA for "Shrek" (2001). Its cinematographer, Donald McAlpine, was nominated at the Oscars for "Moulin Rouge!" (2001).

Photo: 20th Century Fox


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The comments to this entry are closed.


The Academy Awards will have to change it's outdated thinking on comic book movies, because pretty soon that's all we're going to be seeing in the box office.

I loved Australia and Wolverine. Just because American critics didn´t get Australia doesn´ t mean it´s bad. It was successful in Europe and made 200 mil. worldwide - and Hugh´s performance was praised. He is the best thing about any movie. And yes, there is part of it that members of Academy might be very well jealous. That´s why such movies as "The Reader" which NOBODY saw or knew it existed before the Oscars are getting awards. Simple as that. Write about something it´s a "blockbuster" and you can be sure that the movie won´t get anything. Look at The Dark Knight. Will anybody remember Slumdog milionaire next year? I doubt it. I think nomination for music and cinematography for Wolverine. The original-score was great. And Hugh...I am not saying it´s Oscar worthy but he was great in the term that he IS Wolverine. Nobody can doubt that.

It always seems that the holy golden movie critics seem to be threatened by alphamale oriented films. If it's soft and fuzzy and non threatening they seem to eat it up, but if a film is aimed at money spending young aggressive males of the American population, then it must be akin to toilet paper. Shame for such a large industry to be biased because old school thought is considered pase'.

Hi Tom

I think you're spot on in terms of Jackman doing great performances in Australia and Origins. He is slated by critics possibly because they're jealous...some ego thing going on. The Academy Awards will have to change it's outdated thinking on comic book movies, because pretty soon that's all we're going to be seeing in the box office.

Wolverine may have captured the opening weekend dollars but it seems that it was just out of anticipation and the movie will die out quickly.

You neglect to mention Oscar winning director Gavin Hood (Tsotsi). Even though he may not get nominated...he has previously won. He did a GREAT job with Wolverine. The opening credit sequence alone had me hooked.

Ryan may be you need to get some one to explain the movie to you. Because it was fantastic every way a movie can be. You know it is from a comic book don't you?

It was a decent comic book movie with some cool action scenes. It wasn't a great movie but it was very entertaining. People looking for Citizen Kane, move along.

I just saw this. Im ready for another wolverine movie that is how I feel. Hugh Jackman is Wolverine. All I got to say ready for another and make Hugh Jackman is in it. X-Men fan here enjoyed whole story ties in with the X-men. All you critics you dont know what you are talking about. I remember X-mex when I was kid and I what true X-men are.

I dont think they were taking shots at hugh just for the hell of it, i heard australia really WAS god-awful and after watching his new xmen movie, i pretty much agree with everyone else on this one. What used to be the most interesting character in the series just became LAME.

This was quite possibly the stupidest movie I have seen in years.



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