“X-Men: Apocalypse” is showing superhero power at the U.S. box office with a formidable $80 million over the four day of the Memorial Day holiday — doubling “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” Saturday estimates showed.
U.S. audiences responded enthusiastically to Fox’s latest iteration of its sturdy “X-Men” franchise, which is performing in line with recent expectations. In a rare battle of tentpole franchise films opening against each other, Friday’s first day for “Apocalypse” generated about $26.4 million at 4,150 locations while Johnny Depp’s “Alice” sequel finished under $10 million at 3,763 sites, projecting to a four-day total of around $40 million that’s well below earlier forecasts.
“X-Men: Apocalypse,” the fourth “X-Men” movie directed by Bryan Singer, is continuing an impressive legacy on the Memorial Day holiday. Singer’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past” opened to $110.6 million two years ago; in 2006, Brett Ratner’s “X-Men: The Last Stand” opened with $122.9 million.
“X-Men: Apocalypse,” which carries a $178 million budget, has already shown solid traction overseas in an impressive international opening week, with $130 million as of Wednesday. Oscar Isaac plays an ancient mutant named Apocaplyse who’s trying to destroy the world, with Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender all returning to save the planet.
The opening of “Alice Through the Looking Glass” comes with public attention focused on Depp due to ex-wife Amber Heard being granted a temporary restraining order against him following a domestic violence accusation.
“Alice” has a $170 million price tag and should be a respectable performer for Disney. But it won’t be a massive moneymaker on the scale of the rest of the studio’s 2016 blockbusters with “Captain America: Civil War,” “The Jungle Book” and “Zootopia.”
“Alice Through the Looking Glass” is launching six years after the original “Alice in Wonderland” stunned Hollywood with a $116.1 million domestic opening weekend and finished with more than $1 billion worldwide. The sequel is directed by “Flight of the Conchords” creator James Bobin and stars Depp as the Mad Hatter, Mia Wasikowska as Alice, Anne Hathaway and Helena Bonham Carter.
International grosses for “Alice Through the Looking Glass” will likely be far higher than the domestic take. The original grossed nearly $700 million in territories outside the U.S. It opens day-and-date across 72% of the international marketplace, including Italy, Germany, Spain, UK, Russia, Australia, China, Brazil and Mexico.
Sony’s second weekend of “The Angry Birds Movie” should edge Disney-Marvel’s fourth frame of “Captain America: Civil War” for third with about $25 million at 3,932 locations, giving the animated comedy a cumulative box office around $72 million by the end of the holiday weekend. “Angry Birds” took in $5 million on Friday.
“Captain America: Civil War” grossed $4 million on Friday, its 22nd day in theaters, and is headed to about $22 million for the four-day weekend. That’s going to leave the domestic total at about $377 million and leave it as the top grosser in the U.S in 2016 — eclipsing “Deadpool,” currently at $362.8 million.