Hollywood unleashed two big guns over the Memorial Day weekend yet the outcome is decidedly a mixed bag. 20th Century Fox unveiled X-Men: Apocalypse, the latest in their long-running and very successful Marvel franchise, while Disney countered with the more family-friendly sequel Alice Through the Looking Glass. Both tentpoles came in fairly below targeted opening weekend projects with X-Men leading the pack with an estimated $65 million over the weekend and an expected $80 million haul over the four-day start.
Tracking previously suggested the Bryan Singer-directed comic-book adaptation might bring somewhere between $85-$100 million over the holiday weekend however the end result was within Fox’s rather conservative estimate for the title. X-Men: Apocalypse – which brought back franchise vets James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence – follows X-Men: Days of Future Past, which impressed audiences (and critics) when it opened in theaters in the same frame two years ago. Days of Future Past brought in $110 million. The reviews of Apocalypse were decidedly more mixed however. The film is doing well globally having already brought in over $250 million worldwide, which may be a silver lining.
The weekend’s other major title – Alice Through the Looking Glass – didn’t fare nearly as well at domestic box office. The James Bobin-directed sequel of Tim Burton’s 2010 billion dollar grosser Alice in Wonderland grossed $28 million over the three day weekend and is expected to only bring in about $35 million over the holiday frame. Projections for the title – which features returning stars Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska, Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway – had been reworked extensively but a $55 million debut was seen as possible. The film was greeted with poor reviews and family friendly competition from the likes of The Angry Birds Movie and Disney’s still ticking reboot of The Jungle Book. Again, foreign receipts may help Alice in the long run as it topped the worldwide box office this weekend and performed especially well in China.
What did you see over the weekend?