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X-Men: Apocalypse trounces Alice Through the Looking Glass in US

X-Men: Apocalypse

Story by Jack Foley

X-MEN: Apocalypse has trounced Johnny Depp’s Alice Through The Looking Glass at the US box office.

Bryan Singer’s fourth X-Men outing, and his second since Fox rebooted the franchise with a younger cast, comfortably won the race for Memorial Day supremacy, grossing $65 million for the three-day weekend, and thereby putting its four-day holiday gross at an estimated $80 million.

It may have opened at the lower end of expectations and 30% behind previous X-Men offering “Days of Future Past”: but it lacked the cross-generational appeal of that film or the critical support.

Nevertheless, Fox will be pleased with the film’s performance, with the overseas news just as good. The mutants took in $55.3 million from 79 markets internationally for a foreign haul of $185.8 million and global total of $265.8 million through Monday.

Chris Aronson, Fox’s domestic distribution chief, commented: “We’re very happy with this result as we introduce new characters in the X-Men universe. And for us to be at this number globally already means we’re in good shape.”

Apocalypse sees James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Rose Byrne and Lucas Till all reprising their roles along with a raft of newcomers such as Oscar Isaac as Apoclaypse, Alexandra Shipp as Storm, Tye Sheridan as Cyclops, Olivia Munn as Psylocke, Sophie Turner as a young Jane Grey, Ben Hardy as Angel and Kodi Smit-McPhee as Nightcrawler.

Hugh Jackman also cameos as Wolverine.

In contrast to X-Men’s buoyant fortunes, Disney’s big-budget Alice Through the Looking Glass bombed.

Heading into the weekend, it was already hurt by bad reviews but then wasn’t helped at all by the controversy surrounding its leading man, Johnny Depp, who became embroiled in a divorce story heading into the weekend.

Alice grossed $28.1 million for the three-day weekend putting its four-day estimate at $35 million – a colossal 70% behind Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, which opened to a surprise $116 million in spring 2010, thereby kick-starting Disney’s trend for reviving animated classics in live action form.

Commenting on the figure, Disney distribution chief Dave Hollis said: “It’s disappointing. The domestic opening is wildly less than what every tracking service had us at. We’re in the tent-pole business. More often than not, they turn out to be huge successes. We’ll continue to take those big bets. In this instance, it didn’t turn out as we hoped.”

Ironically, Alice‘s opening fared even worse than Disney’s ill-fated Memorial Day offering last year, Tomorrowland, which flopped after earning $42 million for the four days.

But the company can afford the odd flop given that it is about to cross the $4 billion mark at the global box office already this year off the back of the successes of Captain America: Civil War ($1.11 billion), Zootropolis ($992 million) and The Jungle Book ($880 million) – not to mention Star Wars: The Force Awakens at the tail end of last year.

Internationally, Alice‘s fortunes were just as mixed. The film opened in No.1 in China, with a strong $27.1 million, and also did well in Latin America. But in Europe, it also struggled with the UK only contributing $3.2 million.

Elsewhere at the US box office, Sony and Rovio’s The Angry Birds Movie came in third in its second weekend, with an estimated four-day gross of $24.5 million. In the US, the film will have taken $72.2 million through Monday, while it has now crossed the $225 million mark globally.

In fourth spot is Disney and Marvel’s juggernaut, Captain America: Civil War, which took an estimated $19.4 million across the four day weekend, good enough to pass Deadpool‘s $362.8 million to become the No. 1 film of the year to date in the US with $377 million.

And rounding out the top five was Universal’s R-rated comedy, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, which took an estimated $11.2 million for a US total of $40.4 million through Monday. Internationally, the comedy has earned $36.5 million for a global total of $76.9 million.

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