Box Office: ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ Tops With $80 Million, ‘Through the Looking Glass’ Bombs

X-Men Apocalypse Jennifer Lawrence
Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

X-Men: Apocalypse” easily topped the Memorial Day weekend box office, racking up a commanding $80 million over the four-day period in an otherwise forgettable holiday for the movie business.

Its victory came at the expense of  “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” which is shaping up to be one of the year’s biggest bombs. The follow-up to 2010’s “Alice in Wonderland” eked out $34.2 million over the four-day holiday, a far cry from the $116.1 million debut of the first film, and a disastrous start for a pricey movie.

Final numbers are still being tallied, but even though this year’s Memorial Day topped last year’s holiday, it trails the record of $314.2 million established in 2013. That weekend saw a clash between “Fast & Furious 6” and “The Hangover III,” and while this edition also fielded a high-profile matchup between “X-Men” and “Alice in Wonderland” sequels, overall ticket sales were somewhat disappointing. ComScore estimates that final grosses will end up at just over $200 million.

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Although the latest “X-Men” was the weekend’s biggest winner, its opening paled in comparison to the $110.6 million debut of its predecessor, “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” The latest sequel in the long-running franchise is set in the ’80s and finds the team of mutant heroes battling an all-powerful villain from the ancient world (Oscar Isaac). Fox backed the $178 million production, releasing it across 4,150 theaters in North America.

Critics didn’t cotton to the film, saddling it with a lackluster 48% “rotten” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences were more forgiving, handing the picture an A-minus CinemaScore. There won’t be another comic-book movie in theaters until “Suicide Squad” hits in August, a spandex set reprieve that Fox hopes to take advantage of in the coming weeks.

“When you look at the competitive landscape and the audience score, we expect the film to last a little longer than most comic-book movies do,” said Chris Aronson, Fox’s domestic distribution chief.

Disney’s “Alice Through the Looking Glass” will have to look abroad for help if it wants to salvage its $170 million production budget and the tens of millions it spent marketing and promoting the fantasy adventure.

Its failure is more bad news for star Johnny Depp. The actor, formerly one of Hollywood’s biggest draws, has suffered a string of flops such as “Black Mass,” “Transcendence” and “The Lone Ranger.” He is also embroiled in a divorce from Amber Heard. The actress has accused Depp of physically abusing her and filed for a restraining order. Photos of Heard’s bruised face appeared in various media outlets, inspiring a wave of bad publicity for the film.

Disney distribution chief Dave Hollis noted that “Alice Through the Looking Glass” is performing better overseas, where it made $65 million over the weekend, with a third of that coming from China.

“We’re going to push as hard as we can to get as much box office as we can,” said Hollis, who acknowledged that the results were “disappointing.”

The two new releases were split in terms of their demographic appeal. “X-Men: Apocalypse” attracted an audience that was 62% male, while 57% of the opening crowd for “Alice Through the Looking Glass” was female.

Premium formats helped lift “Apocalypse’s” results, with premium large format locations delivering $7.8 million of its earnings and Imax adding $3.6 million to its gross. RealD equipped 3D theaters grossed approximately $23.5 million for the four-day holiday weekend.

Last weekend’s champ, Sony’s “The Angry Birds Movie,” took third place, with $24.6 million over the four-day span, bringing its domestic total to $72.2 million.

Disney and Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” officially became the year’s highest-grossing domestic release, adding $19.7 million to its massive $377.2 million stateside gross. That’s enough to knock “Deadpool” and its $362.8 million tally from its perch atop the year’s biggest stateside earners.

Universal’s “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising” rounded out the top five, earning $11.2 million to bring its domestic gross to $40.4 million.

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  1. chris says:

    Want to know why?
    1. No Wolverine
    2. Fans want Xman to Mcu
    thats why they stop watching
    hahaha nver mind just personal opinion.

  2. JS says:

    Do you make money off these movies? So who cares, if you like a movie then go see it if you want, if you don’t then don’t watch it. simple.

  3. jimmy woo says:

    I really enjoyed X-Men Apocalypse from start to finish. I go to the movies to be entertained and X-Men succeeded completely.

  4. Saw “Civil War” , AND “X-Men” BOTH were good, waiting for the crossover. I will give the slighter edge to “Civil War”.

  5. TURTLES SET-UP TO RULE! says:

    Perhaps this weekend was so weak because most American families used the holiday weekend as a time for extended family fun activities outdoors; relaxing at the beach, picnics in the park, a day at the zoo, cookouts, etc. Families will be out in force for sure next weekend. A weak holiday box office weekend is often times followed by a huge weekend as people hold out for something they really want to see. Expect TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES : OUT OF THE SHADOWS to be the beneficiary of families going back to the movies in huge numbers again.

    • EricJ says:

      “Nobody goes to movies on Memorial Day, they’re all at the beach!”–That was exactly what Fox thought forty years ago when they wanted to “bury” a little embarrassing sci-fi movie without anyone noticing.
      Nowadays, Memorial Day -used- to be the most fought-over opening of the year, until early first-week in May stole its thunder. (Also, ironically, because of a Star Wars movie.)

      Memorial Day now has audiences feeling “movied out” and taking a one-month breather until the July blockbuster season, and you’d have to have something pretty spectacular to get the same audiences you get on May 6. We can assume that X-Men and Alice WEREN’T.

  6. Spider says:

    I think that Disney’s plan all along was to take money away from, “X-Men”. The $30 million made by, “Alice” is the $30 million fewer made by “X-Men” in it’s opening weekend. I’m pretty sure Disney knew they had a turkey on their hands that would do favorable business overseas. So, why not release it against a rival studios Marvel flick to cut into their bottom line…… It makes logical sense. I give props to Disney for being strategic…..Maybe in the not-too-distant future, the X-Men might find their way into the MCU, just like Spider-Man did.

    • MesoSoup says:

      Keep the Xmen away from the MCU

      • jimmy woo says:

        No one except Simon Kinsberg agrees with you. And that fool wants an FF 2 with the loser cast.

    • Don't Mind Me Now says:

      Good God, how many articles are you going to post this bullshit on? See my reply from yesterday as to why you’re a moron.

      • me says:

        How many times are you going to call someone a moron? Seems like you have waaaay too much time on your hands as well. Physician, heal thyself.

        See replies from anybody that knows you as to why you’re an insufferable, pompous loser.

      • Spider says:

        This is my opinion, jackass. You don’t have to like it nor agree with it. But, in the whole business scheme, it makes sense. The numbers make sense. People are in business to make money and outdo the competition. I’ve seen this play out so many times in the real world. Open your eyes and take your head out of your ass! ….And you’re the f’n moron!

    • britton says:

      No. That is a stupid business decision. “Oh, lets lose millions upon millions of dollars just so FOX’s movie doesn’t make as much as it should.” No one thinks that way, especially when they have millions on the line. Disney will never see the rights to X-MEN, and they shouldn’t since FOX saved their asses by buying the film rights when Marvel was going bankrupt.

      • Spider says:

        Get with the program, idiot. So many business decisions are made to outdo the competition. Needless, to say the world of politics, personal relationships, etc. That is why it’s called business. I see this day in and day out. Try getting out into the real world where only the slick ones are the ones succeeding. ….I used to think like you and it didn’t get me very far!

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