LOS ANGELES - 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. 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.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 24-May-2014 here.