With summer arriving in a beautiful blaze on Memorial Day weekend, moviegoers opted to stay outdoors rather than dive into Hollywood’s offering of two major blockbuster sequels. The result was a pair of franchise movies that failed to connect both critically and, more importantly for the studios, commercially.
Heading into the holiday battling terrible reviews coupled with a PR disaster following charges of spousal abuse levelled at Johnny Depp, Disney‘s “Alice Through The Looking Glass” is definitely not going to be the billion dollar hit of its predecessor “Alice In Wonderland.” Not even close. The movie earned $28.1 million across three days, and is expected to finished with about $35 million once the weekend is wrapped up. That’s well below some estimates of $50 million and way off the $116 million opening of ‘Wonderland.’ It’s even less than what “Tomorrowland” earned last year across the same frame, which went on to finish with $93 million domestically. So expect an $80 million domestic run for ‘Looking Glass,’ which by any measure is a disastrous followup to a movie that earned over $330 million at home, and just over $690 million abroad. Disney has their first major misfire of the year, after what has looked like an unbeatable streak. Still, they are happily sitting on $4 billion at the global box office so far this year. So, while ‘Wonderland’ will be an ugly mark on the 2016 ledger for Disney, it will be surrounded by a sea of megahits.
As for Depp, the recent scandal aside, one has to wonder about the state of his career. This marks his second big Disney flop after “Lone Ranger,” while outside of tentpoles, the actor has a string of disappointments including “Transcendence,” “Mortdecai,” and “Black Mass.” The actor’s next release is next summer’s “Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” and either audiences will be thrilled for the return of Captain Jack Sparrow….or treat it with ‘Looking Glass’ like indifference…
While on paper the $65 million 3-day haul, with a projected $77-80 million four-day finish for “X-Men: Apocalypse” fit within 20th Century Fox‘s expectations, it’s certainly by any reasonable analysis a disappointment. It’s going to end up about $30 million short of the four-day, Memorial Day total of “X-Men: Days Of Future Past,” and in franchise opening history it ranks sixth. And with the contracts for all the star players finished up after ‘Apocalypse,’ it’s a big question where the series will go next. Can Fox successfully pass the torch to the new crew of mutants? Certainly they won’t have Hugh Jackman‘s Wolverine to bring his A-list presence to the proceedings as he’s done his mutant duties after next year’s “The Wolverine 3.” I wouldn’t be surprised if studio executives start looking at an “X-Force” movie with Deadpool sooner rather than later.
At the arthouse, Whit Stillman‘s “Love & Friendship” showed some real strength, opening in 493 cinemas, and cracking the top ten with a solid $2.4 million. It’s nice to know that a costume comedy can still bring ’em out.
Internationally, neither ‘Looking Glass’ nor ‘Apocalypse’ made huge waves. The former was big in China, but pretty cool elsewhere, with $93.1 million global to date. ‘Apocalypse’ is currently sitting with $185 million from box offices around the world, putting it on the path to surpass “X-Men: First Class” in that category, which is certainly a silver lining for Fox. Meanwhile, “Warcraft” started its international rollout, earning $31.6 million in twenty markets.
1. “X-Men: Apocaylpse” — $65 million
2. “Alice Through The Looking Glass” — $28.1 million
3. “The Angry Birds Movie” — $18.7 million ($66.3 mil.)
4. “Captain America: Civil War” — $15.1 million ($372.6 mil.)
5. “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising” — $9.1 million ($38.3 mil.)
6. “The Jungle Book” — $6.9 million ($338.4 mil.)
7. “The Nice Guys” — $6.3 million ($21.7 mil.)
8. “Money Monster” — $4.2 million ($33.9 mil.)
9. “Love & Friendship” — $2.4 million ($3.4 mil.)
10. “Zootopia” — $831,000 ($335.8 mil.)