Both films are hurt by bad reviews in the U.S., while ‘Alice 2’s’ woes are compounded by allegations that star Johnny Depp assaulted his wife, Amber Heard; overseas, ‘X-Men’ nears $200 million.
Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Apocalypse is easily winning the Memorial Day box office race, devouring Alice Through the Looking Glass.
Apocalypse grossed $65 million for the three-day weekend, putting its four-day holiday gross at an estimated $80 million from 4,150 theaters, 30 percent behind Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past ($110 million). The big difference between the two films — Apocalypse was lambasted by many critics, who conversely adored Days of Future Past, released over Memorial Day weekend in 2010.
Heading into the weekend, tracking suggested the male-skewing Apocalypse would gross $85 million-$100 million. Fox, however, was more conservative, saying in the $80 million range.
On Friday afternoon, the $178 million superhero tentpole looked like it would take in $90 million or more, but traffic slowed as the evening wore on. Globally, Apocalypse is in good shape, considering it has already amassed north of $185 million overseas, where it began playing in some markets last weekend.
James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Rose Byrne and Lucas Till are among those reprising their roles, while a raft of new actors join the franchise. The latter category includes Oscar Isaac, Alexandra Shipp, Tye Sheridan, Olivia Munn, Sophie Turner, Ben Hardy and Kodi Smit-McPhee. Also, Hugh Jackman makes a cameo as Wolverine.
While Apocalypse came in slightly behind expectations, Disney’s big-budget Alice Through the Looking Glass altogether bombed. Alice 2, receiving even worse reviews, grossed $28.1 million from 3,763 locations for the three-day weekend for an estimated $35 million four-day debut — 70 percent behind Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, which opened to a stunning $116 million in spring 2010 (the original was a major 3D event).
In a public relations nightmare for Alice 2 star Johnny Depp, Through the Looking Glass rolled out in theaters just as the actor’s wife, Amber Heard, was granted a restraining order after alleging Depp previously assaulted her.
Projections for Alice 2 kept being revised downwards throughout the weekend, pointing to poor word of mouth. Family friendly films generally see a sizeable uptick on Saturday; Through the Looking Glass — which had been expected to open to $55 million or more — was down 7 percent.
The film fared even worse than Disney’s ill-fated Memorial Day offering last year, Tomorrowland, which flopped after earning $42 million for the four days. Disney can certainly withstand the hit; the studio is crossing $4 billion in 2016 global box-office revenue faster than any company in history, thanks to juggernauts Captain America: Civil War ($1.11 billion), Zootopia ($992 million) and The Jungle Book ($880 million), which overtook Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice ($871.1 million) to rank as the No. 3 film of the year to date.
Alice 2 sees Depp once again star as the Mad Hatter, while Mia Wasikowska reprises her role as Alice. However, Burton didn’t return to direct Through the Looking Glass; instead James Bobin, who helmed the Muppets franchise for Disney, took over directing duties. The film cost $170 million to produce.
Overseas, Alice 2‘s debut was mixed with $65 million from 72 perent of the marketplace. China, where it placed No. 1, led with a strong $27.1 million. The tentpole also did well in Latin America, but struggled in some key European countries, including the U.K. ($3.2 million).
And in some markets where they went head to head, Legendary and Universal’s video game adaptation, Warcraft, beat Alice 2. In total, Warcraft took in $31.6 million from 20 territories two weeks before it debuts in North America on June 10. Warcraft made its strongest showing in Russia with $10 million, the second-biggest weekend of the year to date after Deadpool. That was followed by a strong $5.9 million in Germany and $4.5 million in France.
Among holdovers, Sony and Rovio’s The Angry Birds Movie is crossing the $225 million mark globally. Coming in No. 3 in its second weekend, the animated film’s four-day gross in North America is an estimated $24.5 million from 3,932 theaters for a domestic total of $72.2 million through Monday.
Holding at No. 4 is Disney and Marvel’s juggernaut, Captain America: Civil War. The superhero tentpole’s estimated four-day gross is $19.4 million from 3,395 cinemas, good enough to pass up Deadpool ($362.8 million) to become the No. 1 film of the year to date domestically with $377 million. Globally, Civil War has earned north of $1.11 billion.
Universal’s R-rated comedy, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, rounds out the top five with an estimated $11.2 million from 3,416 theaters for a domestic total of $40.4 million through Monday. Internationally, the comedy has earned $36.5 million for a global cume of $76.9 million.
Shane Black’s The Nice Guys slipped to No. 7 in its second weekend. The Russell Crowe-Ryan Gosling comedy is estimated to post a four-day gross of $8 million from 2,865 theaters for a domestic cume of $23.4 million.
Amazon Studios and Roadside’s Jane Austen adaptation Love & Friendship expanded at the specialty office, placing No. 9 with an estimated $3.1 million from 493 theaters for a domestic total of $4.1 million.