Nicole Sperling
June 06, 2014 AT 04:00 AM EDT

When director Bryan Singer was sued last month for allegedly sexually assaulting a young man more than a decade ago, the press immediately began to speculate — not about Singer’s innocence or guilt, but about how deeply the scandal would damage the box office of X-Men: Days of Future Past. Turns out, not at all. The F/X extravaganza hauled in $91 million in its first weekend (Singer’s biggest opening ever) and has gone on to bring in more than $500 million worldwide. ”I never thought it would have any effect,” says box office analyst Paul Dergarabedian. In fact, movie audiences — and the powers that be in Hollywood — have consistently shown that they care more about what happens on screen than off. Woody Allen, Mel Gibson, and Roman Polanski have all continued to work despite various scandals. (Polanski pleaded guilty to unlawful sex with a minor in 1977, but that didn’t stop the Academy from giving him an Oscar for 2002’s The Pianist.) Singer’s legal drama is just beginning — he has strenuously denied the allegations — but for now he remains Twentieth Century Fox’s golden boy: He’s still on deck to helm 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse. (A source says he’s not officially signed yet, and the script is still being written.) ”People may get worked up in the Twittersphere,” says one industry veteran. ”But on planet Earth they are deciding whether [seeing X-Men] is an entertaining night out or not.”

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