“X-Men: Apocalypse” grossed $8.2 million in its Thursday night previews.
The film’s immediate predecessor, “Days of Future Past,” launched with $8.1 million at the Thursday box office in 2014 and went on to earn $110.6 million over its three-day holiday weekend.
Early tracking had the “X-Men” sequel aiming for $100 million for the long Memorial Day weekend (including Monday’s results), although studio estimates were 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 that of 2014’s “X-Men” installment.
The film currently has a score of 47 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, which is considerably lower than the marks for “Days of Future Past” and “First Class,” which scored 91 percent and 87 percent, respectively.
The highest grossing film in the $2.3 billion “X-Men” franchise is “X-Men: The Last Stand,” which debuted over Memorial Day weekend in 2006 and earned $102 million in three days and $122.8 million through that Monday.
Also opening this holiday weekend is Disney’s “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” which earned $1.5 million on Thursday. The sequel to 2010’s “Alice in Wonderland” is expected to rake in around $70 million, although the studio predicted a more conservative number of $60 million to $63 million heading into the weekend.
“Alice in Wonderland” had a budget of $200 million and debuted to $116 million, grossing $334.1 million domestically and more than $1 billion worldwide. Its sequel had a smaller budget: $170 million.
Much like this weekend’s upcoming “X-Men” sequel, the “Alice” sequel is less popular with critics than the movie or movies that came before it. “Through the Looking Glass” has a 27 percent Rotten Tomatoes score, while the first “Alice” film scored 52 percent.
“Alice Through the Looking Glass” stars Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Rhys Ifans, Alan Rickman, Sacha Baron Cohen and Anne Hathaway. It is directed by James Bobin and produced by Tim Burton and Joe Roth.
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