Two high-profile sequels hit the theatres on the same weekend in North America and surprisingly, neither can be called a true conqueror. X-Men: Apocalypse was still the bigger achiever of the two with a $65 million opening domestically. That is however quite a disappointment for Fox Studios who would have set sights on higher goals after the terrific performance of 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, both directed by Bryan Singer. Days of Future Past had opened with $91 million in North America eventually earning close to $234 million domestically and $748 million worldwide. X-Men: Apocalypse is going to struggle to match that total. Its domestic performance is not going to be good enough to even reach $200 million, but a $500 million overseas collection cannot be ruled out. As of now, the movie has earned $251 million globally, having released in a few foreign markets a week back itself, but the big market of China is yet to be touched. The movie’s production budget is $178 million, and I am assuming the marketing expenses would also be pretty hefty. So a $600 million plus tally globally would be where we can safely say that the movie has turned profitable. Before the release, I would have thought that’s a safe bet to make, but a 48% score on Rottentomatoes would not get the entire movie-watching crowd excited, which means we will have to keep an eye out in the coming weeks to figure out the movie’s performance. I still feel though X-Men: Apocalypse will come out safely on the other side, though it does raise question marks on how good is this new team of X-Men to carry forward the franchise.
While the audience has viewed X-Men: Apocalypse with some caution, it has completely ignored Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass. Disney has been on such a hot streak this year that it may take the studio some time to figure out what went wrong with this sequel to Tim Burton’s hugely successful 2010 film Alice in Wonderland. The sequel comes nowhere to Burton’s movie as far as the box-office numbers go. It has opened with $28.1 million over the weekend in North America and $93.1 million globally. So bad is the domestic opening that the movie’s total theatrical collection in North America may not even match the opening weekend collection of $116 million achieved by Alice in Wonderland six years back. Now, that is seriously bad! Alice Through the Looking Glass has been made on an enormous budget of $170 million, which it is very unlikely to ever recover. Comparisons are already being drawn with last year’s disaster Tomorrowland from Disney that made $209 million only on a production budget of $190 million. Though even Tomorrowland had a better domestic opening than this ($33 million)! Alice Through the Looking Glass has failed simply because it should not have existed. Tim Burton’s movie was no classic but its $1 billion collection was driven by the new emerging love for visually spectacular movies and that too in 3D after Avatar in 2009. Six years later, and we see such 3D movies everywhere, no longer in awe of what it brings on screen. The absence of Tim Burton could have hurt somewhat; love for Johnny Depp has also subsided over the years; parallel release of X-Men: Apocalypse was the final nail in the coffin. Disney has still touched $4 billion in theatrical collections worldwide already this year, but the studio would have preferred to do it without Alice spoiling its name, I am sure.
Last week’s leader The Angry Birds Movie dropped by 51% over the weekend. Its domestic collection over 10 days is decent at $66 million, but it is doing much better overseas as its total global collection has soared to $224 million. Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising had a poorer second weekend with a 58% drop that brings the domestic tally to $38 million and global collections close to $75 million. Another unnecessary sequel that will never match the heights of the first one! On the brighter side for Disney, Captain America: Civil War is still running strong having amassed $1.1 billion and is about $110 million shy of the worldwide collections of Iron Man 3. Could be a close finish!
Here are the top 5 weekend earners at the US box-office (estimates):
1. X-Men: Apocalypse ($65.0 million)
2. Alice Through the Looking Glass ($28.1 million)
3. The Angry Birds Movie($18.7 million; second weekend)
4. Captain America: Civil War($15.1 million; fourth weekend)
5. Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising($9.1 million; second weekend)