Director Bryan Singer's X-Men: Days of Future Past debuted in theaters nationwide for Thursday night screenings last night, opening to the tune of a healthy $8.1 million. The preview screening gross marks the highest Thursday night tally in the franchise's 14-year history.

The mark falls just shy of The Amazing Spider-Man 2's $8.7 million Thursday night take earlier this month, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier's $10.2 million haul for its Thursday preview screenings. However, the superhero sequel did much better than its predecessors X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men: First Class, which took in $5.6 million and $3.4 million in preview screenings, respectively.

X-Men: Days of Future Past opened in 2,900 theaters last night for 10 PM screenings, with the mutant adventure opening in nearly 4,000 theaters starting today, 350 of which are large-screen formats. The movie will not open in IMAX theaters, since Godzilla is still playing. Box office analysts predict that the sequel will earn more than $100 million over the four-day holiday weekend.

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Be sure to check back on Monday to find out how X-Men: Days of Future Past fared through Memorial Day.