Weekend Report: ‘Apocalypse’ Reigns over Crowded Memorial Day


It was a box office bloodbath this weekend, and X-Men Apocalypse came out on top. Meanwhile, Alice Through the Looking Glass was a massive flop, while Captain America: Civil WarNeighbors 2: Sorority Rising and The Angry Birds Movie all had disappointing holds.

X-Men: Apocalypse opened with an estimated $65 million this weekend. That’s way down from the $90 million start of X-Men: Days of Future Past back in 2014, but isn’t a necessarily bad debut. For starters, the reviews were much worse; while Days of Future Past had a 91%, Apocalypse had a meager 48%. Not to mention, the original cast, featuring Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, and Ian McKellen, were no longer present. The younger cast isn’t nearly as much of a draw, considering none of them have yet to really break out outside of the franchise. It’s likely that Apocalypse winds up with around $80 million for the holiday weekend, which would only give it a total in the $160 million range. It’s hard to view that as anything but a bit underwhelming. It’s hard to say that two major comic book films within the last two months didn’t have some sort of an impact on this performance.

Alice Through the Looking Glass released more than 6 full years after its predecessor, and the drop in audience was shocking. The film opened with a terrible $28 million, down a full 78% from its predecessors $125 million start (when adjusted for inflation.) That kind of drop is genuinely unprecedented, and shows how the original Alice in Wonderland was a bit of a fluke. For starters, it was the first major 3D and IMAX release after Avatar, and the combination of the appealing visual style as well as Tim Burton and Johnny Depp lead it to be a surprise hit, but it wasn’t exactly beloved (52% on Rotten Tomatoes and 6.5/10 IMDb score) and releasing against a big budget superhero sequel was a pretty dumb decision. In addition to all of this, the first Alice essentially kickstarted the trend of big budget, darker fairy tale adaptations, a genre that has been all but exhausted since then. At the time the concept was basically unheard of, but since then we’ve had films like CinderellaMaleficentOz: The Great and PowerfulPanSnow White and the Hunstman and its sequel, and several others. That lack of intrigue and a poor release date is going to leave a major hole in Disney’s profit, but don’t feel too bad; they still have Doctor StrangeRogue One, and several others on the way.

The Angry Birds Movie fell a sharp 51% in its second weekend. Considering the lack of animated competition and decent word of mouth, that’s a pretty bad hold. It’ll still make it to $100 million, but probably not past $120.

Captain America: Civil War was down an additional 54% to just $15 million. That’s lower than both Iron Man 3 and Avengers: Age of Ultron, which is a somewhat disappointing result. Despite great reviews and word of mouth, the film has yet to even out, falling more than 50% four weekends in. At this point, it’ll be lucky to squeak past $400 million.

Neighbors 2 plummeted a sharp 58% to just $9.1 million. In two weeks, the film has only made $38 million, which is about as much as the first film made in its first two days of release.




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