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‘X-Men: Apocalypse,’ ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ Set for Strong Memorial Day Box Office

But it’s doubtful that either sequel will beat their predecessors over the holiday weekend

“X-Men: Apocalypse” may feature superstar Jennifer Lawrence along with other returning star mutants, but the 20th Century Fox sequel probably won’t come within the $110.6 million opening made by its predecessor, 2014’s “Days of Future Past.”

Early tracking has the “X-Men” sequel aiming for $100 million for the long Memorial Day weekend (counting Monday’s results). Although studio estimates are set lower, just above $80 million.

The 20th Century Fox movie, directed by Bryan Singer, is opening on 4,100 screens and was made on a production budget of $178 million — about $12 million less than 2014’s “X-Men” installment, which also opened over the holiday weekend.

With a 52 percent Rotten Tomatoes score, this “X-Men” installment is much less popular with critics this time around as “Days of Future Past” had a 91 percent rating.

Still, it should easily top the box office.

Meanwhile, Disney’s “Alice Through the Looking Glass” is tracking to debut in second place with around $70 million, once Monday’s holiday numbers come in. The studio, however, is predicting a more conservative $60 to $63 million.

Similar to this weekend’s upcoming “X-Men” sequel, the “Alice” sequel is less popular with critics this time around, receiving a 47 percent Rotten Tomatoes score. Though the first installment — a bonafide hit — proved to be pan-proof, grossing $116.1 million at the box office when it opened in spite of a 52 percent rating.

The live action sequel starring Johnny Depp and Mia Wasikowska will debut Friday in 3,750 theaters.

The Memorial Day weekend at the box office is a good report card on the summer, ComScore senior analyst Paul Degarabedian told TheWrap. “It’s an important barometer,” he said, predicting that the weekend will be a big one for the domestic box office as a whole, but likely won’t be quite enough to beat 2013’s record of $314.2 million in collective weekend grosses coming out of the holiday, led by “Fast & Furious 6.”

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