“X-Men: Apocalypse” has brought in an estimated $65 million from the holiday weekend box office so far.
Up against mixed reviews, that number is much lower than grosses made from earlier movies in the 20th Century Fox mutant superhero series that opened on Memorial Day weekend.
“X-Men: The Last Stand” amassed $102.8 million by Sunday in 2006 and “Days of Future Past” grossed $90.8 million by that day in 2014.
Still, the movie about a penultimate showdown with the powerful ancient mutant Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac), should easily top the box office by the end of the long holiday weekend.
Meanwhile, Disney’s “Alice Through the Looking Glass” is in second place, bringing in an estimated $28.1 million through Sunday.
The sequel to the 2010 hit brought in only $9.8 million on Friday and is continuing to sputter.
It had been tracking to debut at around $70 million, once Monday’s holiday numbers come in. The studio, however, predicted a more conservative $60 million to $63 million. But now, with the weekend’s weak returns, onlookers are saying that Disney will be lucky to make $40 million.
Much like the “X-Men” sequel, the “Alice” sequel is somewhat less popular with critics than its predecessor, “Alice in Wonderland.” The current Disney movie now has a 29 percent approval rating from critics counted on Rotten Tomatoes. However, the first installment — a bona fide hit — proved to be pan-proof, grossing $116.1 million at the box office when it opened in spite of a mere 52 percent approval rating. “Looking Glass” has an A- CinemaScore.
The live-action sequel stars Johnny Depp, and it opened amid domestic abuse allegations brought by his estranged wife Amber Heard, though it is not yet clear if the controversy is what impacted ticket sales.
Three-day estimates have “The Angry Birds Movie” coming in at No. 3 with $18.7 million in its second weekend. Fourth place goes to “Captain America: Civil War,” grossing $15.1 million in its fourth weekend and moving it above “Deadpool” as the highest grossing movie of the year, so far. “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising” rounds out the holiday weekend, bringing in an estimated $9.1 million as of Sunday.
X-Men movies have a track record of leading the Memorial Day weekend box office — which offers 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 likely wouldn’t beat 2013’s record of $314.2 million in collective weekend grosses, led by “Fast & Furious 6.”
“X-Men: The Last Stand” brought in $122.9 million after the four-day weekend in 2006 and ranks at No. 3 of all-time Memorial Day weekend domestic grosses, just behind 2008’s “Indiana Jones Kingdom Crystal Skull” ($126.9 million) and 2007’s “Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World’s End” ($139.8 million). Earning $110.6 million over the three-day holiday weekend in 2014, “Days of Future Past” ranks at No. 5.
“Apocalypse” grossed $26.4 million on Friday — much less than the $35.5 million brought in by “X-Men: Days of Future Past” on its first full day of release. That movie went on to a huge $110.6 million opening weekend during the Memorial Day holiday in 2014.
Early tracking has the “X-Men” sequel aiming for $100 million over this four-day weekend, including Monday’s results. Studio estimates, however, are set a bit lower, at just above $80 million — which at this stage, looks to be closer to the bullseye.
Directed by Bryan Singer, the Fox film is playing on 4,150 screens and was made on a production budget of $178 million — about $12 million less than the cost of 2014’s “X-Men” installment.
With a current Rotten Tomatoes score of 47 percent, this “X-Men” sequel is much less popular with critics than “Days of Future Past,” which had a 91 percent approval rating. But audiences have still been revved up for the film, given its A- CinemaScore.
The Top Five:
1. “X-Men: Apocalypse” (20th Century Fox) — $65 million in Week 1 ($65 million total)
2. “Alice Through the Looking Glass” (Disney) — $28.1 million in Week 1 ($28.1 million total)
3. “The Angry Birds Movie” (Sony) — $18.7 million in Week 2 ($66.4 million total)
4. “Captain America: Civil War” (Disney) — $15.1 million in Week 4 ($373.6 million total)
5. “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising” (Universal) — $9.1 million in Week 2 ($38.3 million total)