Box Office: ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ Hits $65 Million, ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ Flops

X-Men: Apocalypse
Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Fox’s “X-Men: Apocalypse” and Disney’s “Alice Through the Looking Glass” squared off over Memorial Day weekend, but both blockbuster hopefuls emerged bruised from this box office clash of the titans.

The latest X-Men adventure easily topped the weekend, earning an estimated $65 million. It is on pace to pull in over $76 million over the four-day spell. That’s a solid start, but a significant drop off from the $110.5 million that the previous mutant team-up, “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” racked up over the 2014 Memorial Day holiday.

Fox domestic distribution chief Chris Aronson said he was “exceptionally pleased” with the results, and predicted that the film’s A-minus CinemaScore would set it up for repeat business.

“It’s a challenging marketplace, to be sure, but the domestic opening coupled with the international rollout puts us in terrific shape,” he said.

Overseas, “X-Men: Apocalypse” has made $185.8 million, which will bring its global haul to more than $260 million after the weekend.

Related Content Amber Heard Says Johnny Depp Is ‘Scary,’ Struggles with Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Things were much bleaker for “Alice Through the Looking Glass.” The follow-up to 2010’s “Alice in Wonderland,” which racked up more than $1 billion during its run, stumbled out of the gate, bombing with $28.1 million and a projected $35 million over the four-day period. That’s a disastrous start for a film with an $170 million production budget.

“It’s disappointing and it’s head scratching to a certain degree,” said Dave Hollis, Disney’s distribution chief.

He noted that the studio just passed $4 billion in record time, in part because it has decided to make fewer, but bigger-budgeted films. In the case of “Zootopia” or “Captain America: Civil War” that paid off with two of the highest-grossing hits of the year.

“We’re always striving for higher-quality, branded films,” said Hollis. “We make these big bets and sometimes they really pay off. We took one here, but it did not do the kind of business we were hoping. You have to take everything in stride.”

The fantasy adventure will try to stanch the bleeding overseas, where “Alice Through the Looking Glass” grossed an estimated $65 million from such major territories as Italy, Russia, the United Kingdom, Australia and Brazil. The film has opened in 72% of the international market, with France (June 1), Japan (July 1) and South Korea (Sept. 8) still on deck.

“Alice’s” opening is bad news for Johnny Depp, whose star has waned in recent years, its luster diminished by flops such as “Mortdecai” and “Transcendence.” The actor was in the headlines over the weekend after his wife Amber Heard filed for divorce, alleging abuse, creating public relations headaches for Disney.

Heading into the holiday, some analysts expected “X-Men: Apocalypse” to debut to between $80 million and $100 million, and many box office sages projected an “Alice” launch in the $55 million range. The competition may have taken a chunk out of both film’s ticket sales, although the movies were pitched at different audiences. “X-Men” was intended to draw men, while “Alice” was designed for female moviegoers.

Some analysts believe that the “Alice in Wonderland” sequel couldn’t compete in the crowded summer season. The first film debuted in the spring, when there were fewer major studio releases vying for attention.

“‘X-Men’ destroyed ‘Alice,’ no question,” said Jeff Bock, an analyst with Exhibitor Relations. “That’s what happens when a spring fling attempts to go full-tilt summer blockbuster. We’ve seen this happen in the past and it usually doesn’t work out.”

Sony’s “The Angry Birds Movie” took third place in its second weekend of release, earning $18.7 million, to bring its domestic haul to roughly $66.3 million. In fourth place, “Captain America: Civil War” added $15.1 million to its total. The superhero film has earned $377 million domestically, propelling it past “Deadpool” to become the year’s highest-grossing stateside release. “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising” rounded out the top five, nabbing $9.1 million to push its domestic gross to $40.4 million after two weeks in theaters.

This won’t be a Memorial Day weekend for the ages. ComScore is projecting that the overall box office will hit $204 million for the four-day period, an improvement over last year’s $194.8 million, but a far cry from a record. In fact, the results won’t even crack the top ten Memorial Day weekends.

“This Memorial Day didn’t blow the doors off,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScore. “Memorial weekends are supposed to be this barometer for the health of the industry at this point. It’s sort of a report card.”

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  1. Shandy says:

    Gorgeous, huh? Not so much in my area, lol…more like repulsively, unseasonably hot, with thunderstorms last night.

    But anyway. Yeah, I doubt Johnny Depp’s personal mess is the culprit. However, I’m gonna guess that people generally know and care less about allegations against producers/directors than actors–probably because they don’t usually see them in the films, and can dissociate them more easily?

  2. Hey LA movie moguls- this was the first beautiful weekend on the East coast in over a month, people did not want to be inside most of the weekend, even the evenings were gorgeous. I think it was the weather that hurt your grosses somewhat.

  3. Chris says:

    X-Men: Apocalypse was disappointingly bad. Movie was mess.

  4. A WEAK-END TO FORGET. says:

    There’s two things that we are certain about with this weekend’s holiday box office report. One, there were high expectations for the new releases on the parts of the studios and box office analysts. Two, neither film performed any where near top- notch performance level. ALICE 2 opened to less than 1/3 of what the first ALICE took in during its initial 3 day weekend of 116 million dollars. And X-MEN APOCALYPSE falls significantly short of its predecessor’s 100+ million dollar opening as well. So, there was unbelievable potential here for these two franchise follow-ups to blow the roof top off the box office house, but underwhelming trailers, mixed with poor word of mouth will quickly kill a tent pole release in this day and age. As for the 3 holdovers in the top five, they all lost between 50 to 60% of their audience from last weekend. For CAPTAIN AMERICA, everything is fine as it opened as a MONEY MONSTER week one and has maintained steady 50% plus/minus drops each week. For ANGRY BIRDS and NEIGHBORS 2, a 50 to 60% drop every week isn’t a good thing as both opened to underwhelming numbers despite their lower budgets. And things get much tougher next week as the heros in a half shell come barrelling in like an angry, building sized, rhinoceros to dominate the multiplexes and delight young kids, their parents, and friends alike.

  5. Jim says:

    Apocalypse was bound to do a lot less than DOFP…..the original cast is a much bigger box office draw, at least as far this franchise is concerned….no matter Fox’s attempts to turn Mystique into Katniss 2.0.

  6. Both of these films are awful, poorly written junk, and they both deserve to flop. Every time you buy a ticket to a bad movie like X-men Apocalypse or Batman v.s Superman or Transformers, you just guarantee the production of more complete junk.

    • Iván el Terrible says:

      I am impressed by Zootopia and Jungle Book. Two or three months since their releases, and still in the Top 10. Is it a milestone or the rest of films who have arrived aren’t what the audience expected from them?

    • CB says:

      Couldn’t agree more. BvS was by far the worst one i’ve seen but with a crazy fan base that was in denial of the movies faults or maybe blind to them. And then super angry and aggressive in attacking anyone who dared say it was bad.
      At least that hasnt happened with the new X-Men movie. It’s like nobody cares. Although I must admit I didnt hate it like BvS. Quicksilver saved it for me I guess.

  7. Cryptic Knowledge says:

    Individuals who say #XMenApocalypse defeated #AliceThroughTheLookingGlass, may have misunderstood what Disney just did. $65 mil. for X-men. Disney honestly didn’t care about the numbers for Alice. It’s job was to hit Fox where it hurts most. Pockets. $$$. Numbers will keep slowly going down & MCU may add a bit more heroes to its belt. They already have Fantastic 4 on the way. They’ll announce that mid September. If I read my report right.

    • Dorian says:

      You ‘Disney are on an underhanded long game mission to sink all other superhero franchises’ conspiracy theorists are actually hilarious and probably my favorite new group of Internet loonies. You think that Disney was paying critics to give bad reviews to Batman v Superman too, right?

    • Don't Mind Me Now says:

      That is idiotic. You don’t spend $170 million on a movie, plus god-knows-how-much on a 7-month marketing campaign, just to mildly inconvenience another film. That is an awful business decision. Disney doesn’t need or want the X-Men in the MCU. They don’t fit. The idea that Disney set up Alice to bomb just to hurt Fox is not backed up by any sort of history. Alice didn’t damage X-Men to any significant degree, just as The Lone Ranger did not derail Despicable Me 2, and John Carter did nothing to stop The Lorax. I cannot imagine that Disney prefers the scenario where Alice tanks and causes a huge writedown while X-Men takes a natural dip from its predecessor, compared to a scenario where Alice does solid business on a release date separated from X-Men.

  8. chris says:

    Terrible number for X-Men and nobody asked for a sequel to the Alice.

  9. What a huge hit. With variety reporting yesterday that it made 80 mil in the USA, for Friday I assume, and then reporting it has madeanother65 mil, for Saturday I assume. I wonder if it will pass Star Wars when Sunday numbers are available tomorrow.

    • siebertws13 says:

      2nd paragraph:
      “The latest X-Men adventure easily topped the weekend, earning an estimated $65 million. It is on pace to pull in over $76 million over the four-day spell.”

      • Propesh'a Washington says:

        Headline as of MAY 29, 2016 | 08:13AM PT (which is Saturday Morning)

        “Box Office: ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ Hits $65 Million”

    • Jim says:

      I sure hope for your sake that you’re a troll……otherwise, it may be time to give up home schooling and get an education, lol.

      • Propesh'a Washington says:

        at MAY 29, 2016 | 08:13AM PT — Sunday early morning, the headline reads “Box Office: ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ Hits $65 Million” So that’s Friday + Saturday. Add in Sunday and Monday and that’s way over 100 million dollars. I can assure you I know how to add.

    • me says:

      You’re reading it wrong. Those numbers are estimates for the ENTIRE weekend. $65 million for the regular weekend; $80 million including Monday holiday.

      • Propesh'a Washington says:

        That’s not what the headline reads. On Saturday morning, the headline said 80 million. On sunday Morning the headline says 65million dollars. That’s 80 + 65 = 145 million. Variety does not say in the headline that these are estimates or wishful thinking. It reported them as fact. So 145 through Saturday night. With Sunday and the holiday Monday it could be hitting Star Wars numbers.

  10. Mary Beth Wright says:

    I thought Alice was awesome! I think it will pick up substantially after the Memorial Day weekend. It was a fabulous movie.

  11. Rudy Mario says:

    Looks like Disney and Universal have started laying eggs. Bound to happen. Superheros fatigue and too many tent poles movies ate begining to have a detrimental effect.

  12. Alex says:

    I’ll bet Depp’s little problem at home is one of the reasons “Looking Glass” is tanking.

    • Dirian says:

      I highly doubt that. Men working on productions who create scandals almost never affect box office unfortunately. Brian Singer having accusations of pedophilia against him did nothing to affect the box office of the last XMen, the director of Snow White and the Huntman having an affair with an incredibly young Kristen Stewart while filming did nothing to affect the box office.

    • Tom says:

      The movie sucks. Point blank. Stop making excuses.

    • Meep says:

      You’re right. My sister had planned to take the kids to see this but after she read all the stuff on People magazine’s website she said she didn’t want to support a Depp movie. I’m not saying that’s entirely to blame, but family movie decisions are usually made by moms. Right now women are disgusted with Depp

      • Byby says:

        Good thing you can speak for all women (cue eye roll)

      • Marie says:

        It was a unwanted sequel and it got terrible reviews. I dont care how much money it made the first time, the manority of the responses from those who saw the film was negative.
        It is not a hard concept to understand. And unlike tour sister, people can separate personal from professional.
        Instead believing every rumor some gossip magazine writes.

    • Michael Anthony says:

      Doubtful. Most moviegoers are more intelligent than to believe everything that comes out of Hollywood. Heard wanted $$$$ support and when he filed a motion against it, she suddenly becomes the battered wife. Seems to me. If that was the case, it would have been in her original filing. She’d be more apt to get $$$ then.

      • Shandy says:

        Not that I see how sex is relevant, but I’m a woman, and I’m thinking more like you, Michael. Something smells fishy.

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