The Wolverine slashed monsters and minions to debut atop the weekend US box office.
The film featuring Hugh Jackman's sixth turn as the claw-wielding superhero opened with 55 million dollars in North America, according to studio estimates.
Last weekend's top movie, Warner Bros' low-budget horror The Conjuring, slipped to second place, adding another 22.1 million dollars to its take.
Despicable Me 2 was in third with 16 million dollars. The Universal animated sequel, with its cast of cute, yellow minions, has made more than 600 million dollars worldwide since it came out four weeks ago.
The Wolverine, which is set in Japan and features an international cast, earned another 86.1 million overseas. The film's opening-week take surpassed the 120 million it cost to make, said Chris Aronson, Fox's head of domestic distribution.
"It's a huge opening for the clawed one," he said. "It played equally well from Maine to Maui."
Another Fox film, the animated snail-racing tale Turbo, was in fourth place with 13.3 million dollars. Adam Sandler's Grown Ups 2 followed with 11.5 million.
Woody Allen's latest, Blue Jasmine, enjoyed a stellar opening of its own, though on a much smaller scale. Starring Cate Blanchett, the film opened in just six cinemas but still collected 612,767 dollars.
"It's one of the biggest opening per-theatre averages ever for a non-animated film," said Paul Dergarabedian of box-office tracker Hollywood.com.