Memorial Day Top Two Net Soft $73 million at the Box Office
By John Hamann
May 29, 2016
The Saturday figure came in at $20.3 million, well off the $29.3 million that Days of Future Past earned on its first Saturday. The Sunday was estimated at $18.4 million, which means that X-Men: Apocalypse finishes with a three-day Memorial Day Weekend figure of $65 million, and a likely four-day of about $77 million. That throws well under the Memorial Day frames of X-Men: The Last Stand ($102.8 million three-day), and Days of Future Past ($90.8 million three-day). The rest of the series contains openers in the $80 million area (X2: X-Men United and X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and the $50 million range (the original released in 2000, and X-Men First Class). This debut puts it in the middle of the pack, giving it a number that Fox is likely not overjoyed with, but one where no one will lose their jobs, either.
How X-Men does in terms of legs is going to be very interesting. X-Men has never had great legs. Never has a film in the series earned an opening-to-total multiplier of 3.0, meaning no X-Men film has earned three times its opening weekend at the domestic box office, a multiplier most films have no problem achieving. The other problem X-Men Apocalypse has is the Cinemascore. This one took a step down from the A earned by X-Men: Days of Future Past, to an A-. That’s better than the B+ First Class earned, but should Apocalypse match the opening-to-total multiplier of First Class (2.65), its domestic total will only reach $162.5 million, so it will need every dollar overseas to reach the $534 million it needs to find theatrical profit.
Finishing in an ugly second is Alice Through The Looking Glass, the sequel to the $116.1 million original released in 2010. Things got ugly early for Through The Looking Glass, as tracking had it opening to less than half the original. The actual result is even worse. The Friday box office was only supplemented by Thursday to the tune of $1 million, and the result was an opening day of only $9.7 million. The first Alice earned $40 million on opening day, so it wasn’t hard to tell that the sequel was likely going to finish with less than 25% of what the original opened to six years ago. The three-day weekend was going to struggle to earn what the original did on opening day.
The Saturday figure provided no support. Alice Through The Looking Glass earned $xx.xx million on Saturday, again a few football fields away from the original’s $44.3 million Saturday. In the end, Alice Through The Looking Glass earned an extremely disappointing $28.1 million from 3,763 venues, about 400 fewer than X-Men. Quality-wise, Through The Looking Glass earned even worse reviews than Alice In Wonderland, which had mixed reviews at best (55% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes). Looking Glass came in at only 28% fresh overall, and top critics were only 14% fresh. The Cinemascore remained at an A- just like the last film, and Disney will have to hope that legs and overseas grosses can pull this one out of the quagmire.
Like X-Men, Alice will likely be bailed out overseas – the original earned almost $700 million away from America, and I don’t think we will see as bad a slide there as we did over here. However, if it earns $150 million stateside, and half what the last Alice earned overseas, this one is going to struggle to find a profit, and like X-Men, will likely end up as a push. What happened to Alice to make her worldwide gross drop by almost two-thirds? When the last one came out in 2010, Johnny Depp was coming off two huge Pirates of the Caribbean movies, Public Enemy, and Sweeney Todd – he was a worldwide superstar. This time he’s coming off of Black Mass, Mortdecai, Transcendence, and The Lone Ranger – three dangerous flops and a film where he didn’t look anything like himself. Many are blaming the reduction on 3D not being new anymore, but I think this is all about Depp.