X Marks the Spot

Twentieth Century Fox’s X2: X-Men United took the box office by storm over the weekend with an estimated $85.8 million domestic take. The effects-laden sequel outdid its predecessor by more than $30 million and has set the bar high for upcoming summer blockbusters.

The PG-13-rated X2 reunites cast members Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, James Marsden, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Anna Paquin and Sir Ian McKellen as the mutants come under attack form a number of foes. Alan Cumming (Spy Kids) joins the gang as Nightcrawler, a character that provided some of the most interesting visual effects challenges for the team. Read our conversation with X2: X-Men United visual effects supervisor Mike Fink in the June issue of Animation Magazine, available by subscription and at Barnes & Noble booksellers.

Fans of the X-Men franchise can check out the animated release X-Men: The Legend of Wolverine, now available on DVD and VHS. Extra features include special commentary with X-Men creator Stan Lee, a bonus episode and an exclusive interview with writer Chris Claremont. The Buena Vista Home Ent. release lists for &19.99 DVD and $14.99 VHS.

Coming in at No. 2 over the weekend is Disney’s The Lizzie McGuire Movie with just over $17 million. The impressive theatrical debut for the popular Disney Channel TV property, which also features animated sequences, was strong enough to knock last weekend’s champ, Sony Pictures’ Identity, into third place. Sony’s Anger Management and Disney’s Holes round out the top five.