Box Office Report: 'X-Men: Apocalypse' Fails to Top 'The Last Stand'

Box Office Report: 'X-Men: Apocalypse' Fails to Top 'The Last Stand'

May 30, 2016

Here's your estimated 3-day box office returns (new releases bolded):

1. X-Men: Apocalypse - $80.0 million ($80.0 million total)

2. Alice Through the Looking Glass - $34.1 million ($34.1 million total)

3. The Angry Birds Movie - $24.6 million ($72.2 million total)

4. Captain America: Civil War - $19.7 million ($377.1 million total)

5. Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising - $11.4 million ($40.6 million total)

6. The Jungle Book - $9.2 million ($340.7 million total)

7. The Nice Guys - $8.1 million ($23.5 million total)

8. Money Monster - $5.5 million ($35.2 million total)

9. Love & Friendship - $3.1 million ($4.1 million total)

10. Zootopia - $1.1 million ($336.1 million total)

The Big Stories

The reviews for this summer are going in one direction while the Memorial Day holiday appears to have the grosses headed in the other. The 4-day weekend at least provides the appearance of a box office on the upswing even if Captain America: Civil War is the only film so far this month to put up a sexy number. While that, Angry Birds and even Neighbors 2 look to be successes for their studios, it is the new leaders this week drawing attention for their long-term prospects against their budgets.

 

Apocalypse Now

For all the grief Brett Ratner's X-Men: The Last Stand gets from critics and fans it still remains the top-grossing film in the franchise in the U.S. with the highest opening weekend ($102.7 million.) 2014's Days of Future Past came up about $400,000 short of its total in the U.S. but finally showed Fox that this series did not have a ceiling when it came to international grosses. Prior to that film's $746 million worldwide tally, no film in the series had reached $500 million and only half had even reached $200 million in the U.S. Which side will X-Men: Apocalypse join?

The $80 million that Apocalypse has estimated to make over the holiday weekend is good enough for 10th on the all-time list; ahead of Pearl Harbor but behind Bruce Almighty. Days of Future Past is 5th on the list after a $110.5 million 4-day and Ratner's The Last Stand is 3rd all-time with $122.8 million behind just Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End; three franchise films with reactively unfavorable memories. Now if we look at the multiples on the Memorial X-Men films they are hardly inspiring. The Last Stand managed just a 1.90 after the 4-day and Days of Future Past was at 2.11. Apocalypse is the second worst-reviewed film (48%) ahead of the 38% of X-Men Origins: Wolverine (which also had a 2.11 multiple after an $85 million three-day weekend.) Even if we were generous and think fans will fight back against the bad reviews to give Apocalypse a 2.30 multiple that will still only give it $184 million.

Fox mis-read the potential critical response to this one and have allowed negativity to flow after a two-and-a-half week-early embargo lift. Which is not what you want with a $170 million budget. On the positive side, that number practically makes this an independent film for the notoriously overbudgeted Bryan Singer and it has already pulled in $185 million overseas. Even a 2.11 multiple puts Apocalypse at $168 million in the U.S. Add in another $100 million internationally and there will be no worry about this being a solid hit for Fox. Though if you can believe it, Days of Future Past was the only X-Men film to even achieve over $285 million overseas.

 

"We're Through The Looking Glass Here People"

Nobody is going to cry too hard for Disney this year. Not with the success they have had with Zootopia, The Jungle Book and Captain America: Civil War; the three highest-grossing films of the year worldwide. So a sequel to one of the few billion-dollar films that have ever been released seemed like a no-brainer. Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland was hardly embraced by critics (with a 51% Rotten Tomatoes rating) but those reviews were more easily brushed off than what is being said about Alice Through the Looking Glass. Though it received the same "A-" Cinemascore as its predecessor, a 28% Rotten Tomatoes ranks the film 2% ahead of Disney's Planes but 2% below The Country Bears. Though the film that most comes to mind for the studio is 2015's Tomorrowland.

We could even throw in Disney's $200 million-budgeted Prince of Persia for good measure which opened to a $37.8 million Memorial Day and finished with just $90.7 million in the U.S. (and $336 million overall.) The $190 million-budgeted Tomorrowland opened to $42.6 million over last year's holiday and finished with $93.4 million (and $209 million overall.) Alice Through the Looking Glass could not even match Persia. With just a $34 million four-day, any pressure put on it next week by the Ninja Turtles sequel could be catastrophic for the film's U.S. total. While the film seemed like it was never going to do Wonderland numbers (or even do half its numbers) for it to do roughly 25% of the original is just embarrassing. Though costing slightly less than Disney's other Memorial failures (at $170 million) Looking Glass posting a healthy international total could still save this one from being labeled an outright bomb. (It has made $65 million overseas to date while Tomorrowland only made $115 total.) In other words, the year of Disney will continue.

 

Tales of the Top Ten

Last week's trio of new releases had a wide spectrum of drops. The Angry Birds Movie dropped 50.9% in weekend two putting it on pace for less than the $129 million figured from last week. The animated film is already a hit for Sony thanks to over $157 million overseas. Universal's Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising drop of 57% is not particularly good as it hopes to have enough in the tank for a $55 million run in the U.S. But with a nearly equal tally internationally, the $35 million-budgeted sequel could still make it into the black for the studio. The lowest drop from last week belongs to Shane Black's The Nice Guys (at 41.8%) which now looks to easily surpass the $29 million pegged for it in this column and now hopes to have its eye on a still paltry $40 million. With a $50 million budget, the film needs to count on whatever international appeal Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling maintain to not be another loser for Warner Bros.

Marvel's Captain America: Civil War is officially over the $1.1 billion mark worldwide; good enough to be the 15th highest-grossing film ever. (It will be 14th on Tuesday.) But in the U.S. it has pretty much relinquished all hope to catching Avengers: Age of Ultron as it is now $34 million off that film's pace. It will still become the 23rd film to gross over $400 million in the U.S. and may still crack the Top 15 of all-time at home too. Oh, who are we kidding? These are fantastic numbers and there is no reason to make them seem any less so. Just as Disney's The Jungle Book continues to roll. Next weekend it passes $350 million and it likely will continue to have enough in the tank to pass Deadpool's $362.7 million. Disney can only hope that its planned sequel does not go the route of Alice Through the Looking Glass. After passing $991 million worldwide, you can expect Zootopia 2 eventually as well. The Jungle Book is at nearly $880 million worldwide.

Further down the list, Jodie Foster's Money Monster is pushing its way towards $40 million. Whit Stillman's Love & Friendship cracked the top ten. With a tally of $4.1 million it has outgrossed every one of his films save for Barcelona which should fall shortly. That number also makes it the 15th highest-grossing film for Roadside Attractions; the studio that botched the Tom Hanks release of A Hologram for the King, which Love & Friendship will be outgrossing on Tuesday. With a little word-of-mouth after its expansion to 493 theaters, this could be just the 7th film in their history to gross over $10 million in the U.S. A24 is also generating a nice rollout for its Alchemy-pickup The Lobster. After expanding to 116 theaters this weekend it's total stands at $2.1 million and looks poised to reach the top ten of that rising studio.


Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on WGN Radio with Nick Digilio as well as on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.

[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]

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