Los Angeles – Fox’s “X-Men: Apocalypse” and Disney’s “Alice Through the Looking Glass” squared off over Memorial Day weekend, but both blockbuster hopefuls emerged bruised from this box office clash of the titans.
The latest X-Men adventure easily topped the weekend, earning an estimated 65 million dollars. It was on pace to pull in more than 76 million dollars over the four-day spell.
That’s a solid start, but a significant drop off from the 110.5 million dollas that the previous film, “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” racked up over the 2014 Memorial Day holiday.
Things were much bleaker for “Alice Through the Looking Glass.
“The follow-up to 2010’s “Alice in Wonderland,” which racked up more than one billion dollars during its run, stumbled out of the gate, bombing with 28.1 million dollars and a projected 35 dollars over the four-day period.
That’s a disastrous start for a film with a 170 million dollars production budget.
The fantasy adventure would try to staunch the bleeding overseas, where “Alice Through the Looking Glass” grossed an estimated 65 million dollars from such major territories as Italy, Russia, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Brazil.
The film had opened in 72 per cent of the international market, with France (June 1), Japan (July 1), and South Korea (Sept. 8) still on deck.
“Alice’s’’ opening is bad news for Johnny Depp, whose star had waned in recent years, its luster diminished by flops such as “Mortdecai’’ and “Transcendence.’’
The actor was in the headlines over the weekend after his wife Amber Heard filed for divorce, alleging abuse.
Both new releases failed to hit tracking, with some analysts expecting “X-Men: Apocalypse” to debut to between 80 million dollars and 100 million dollars, and many box office sages projecting an “Alice” launch in the 55 million dollars range.
The competition appeared to take a chunk out of both film’s ticket sales.
Some analysts believed that the “Alice in Wonderland” sequel couldn’t compete in the crowded summer season.
The first film debuted in the spring when there were fewer major studio releases vying for attention.
“X-Men’ destroyed Alice, no question,” said Jeff Bock, an analyst with Exhibitor Relations.
“That’s what happens when a spring fling attempts to go full-tilt summer blockbuster. We’ve seen this happen in the past and it usually doesn’t work out.’’
Sony’s “The Angry Birds Movie” took third place in its second weekend of release, earning approximately 19 million dollars to bring its domestic haul to roughly 72 million dollars.
In fourth place, “Captain America: Civil War’’ added 15.1 million dollar to its total. The super hero film has earned 377 million dollars domestically, pushing it past “Deadpool” to become the year’s highest-grossing stateside release.
“Neighbour’s 2: Sorority Rising’’ rounded out the top five, nabbing 9.1 million dollars to push its domestic gross to 40.4 million dollars after two weeks in theatres. (Reuters/NAN)