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411 Box Office Report: X-Men: Apocalypse Takes #1

May 29, 2016 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas

The mutants ruled the box office this weekend. X-Men: Apocalypse claimed the #1 spot with $65 million for the three-day weekend and an estimated $80 million for the four-day weekend. The latest film in the Marvel comic-based franchise opened at the low end of industry expectations and right about where Fox was expecting it to land. The opening was well below the $90.8 million that X-Men: Days of Future Past started at, but above X-Men: First Class’ $55.1 million debut in 2011.

The film was fighting a few factors preventing it from opening bigger this weekend. Most notably was the competition; Apocalypse skewed male, as comic book films, do, and was competing for that demo with Captain America: Civil War, Neighbors 2 and even Alice Through the Looking Glass. It’s somewhat rare that two blockbusters open directly against each other and it seems to have hurt both Apocalypse and Alice. The negative reviews haven’t helped either; the 48% Rotten Tomatoes score is the lowest for an X-Men film since X-Men Origins: Wolverine. On the more positive side, audiences predictably liked it with an A- CinemaScore; that’s just below Days of Future Past’s A and better than First Class’ B+.

Will Apocalypse have legs at the box office? it faces heavy competition in successive weeks, so it may not hold as well as some might hope. A final domestic tally of $150 million seems to be the most likely bet here. The good news for Fox is that it’s doing great business overseas and already has $185.8 million there for a $250.8 million worldwide total through Sunday. The budget was $178 million, more on par with First Class than Days of Future Past, so this will end up being a profitable film.

Disney won’t be so lucky with Alice Through the Looking Glass, however. The Alice in Wonderland sequel was dead out of the gate at #2 with just $28.1 million over the three day weekend and a likely $35 million four-day weekend. That’s disastrous for a film that was expected to do at least $40 million for the three-day weekend and needed more than that to give it a good head start on a profit margin. By comparison, Alice in Wonderland opened to $116.1 million in March of 2010, so this is a huge disappointment for Disney — and the second Memorial Day weekend bomb in a row for them after last year’s Tomorrowland.

Disney has been sailing through 2016 with success after success, and Alice always seemed to be the point that would break. The film didn’t have Tim Burton at the helm this time; James Bobin replaced him. But not a lot of people seemed to know that and Burton’s dwindling reputation hasn’t helped. The first film was a huge success but wasn’t beloved by those who saw it; audiences just weren’t interested in another go-around. Critics weren’t kind to the film with a 30% RT score, though audiences also gave Alice an A- CinemaScore (the same rating as the first Alice).

The most worrying trait for this film though is its overseas box office performance, which isn’t good. The film brought in just $65 million internationally in forty-three markets; compare that to the first film’s $94 million overseas start. At this point the film will be unlikely to top $90 million in the US and foreign grosses won’t come near making up for the expensive $170 million budget, making this a black eye on an otherwise-great year for the studio so far.

The Angry Birds Movie slid two spots to #3 in its second weekend with $18.7 million, down 51% from the first. While family films tend to take lower drops, it’s still charting nicely about the 61% drop of last November’s The Last Dinosaur and is comparable to Kung Fu Panda’s 49% slip. The movie is up to $66.4 million domestically and $223.6 million worldwide from a $73 million budget. It should still be on par to finish with about $130 million to $135 million in the US.

Captain America: Civil War was also down two to #4, bringing in $15.1 million. The Marvel Cinematic Universe film felt the bit of X-Men Apocalypse but its fall was still relatively light considering. The movie now has $372.6 million domestically and $1.1 billion worldwide. The film should finish off at around $410 million domestically. The budget was $250 million.

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising finished at #5 with $9.1 million, down a hefty 58% from its disappointing opening weekend. The film was already off to a bad start and this fall is well above the 48% that the first film dropped off, suggesting that its chances of turning a healthy profit are starting to dwindle a bit. The comedy sequel is up to $38.3 million domestically and $74.8 million worldwide from a $35 million budget. It will still bring in money for the studio but at very moderate levels at best; it may not be able to top $65 million domestically at this point.

The Jungle Book was down just one spot in its seventh weekend to #6 with $7 million, down a mere 36%. The live-action/CGI animated film is up to $338.5 million domestically and $877.6 million from a $175 million budget; it is now the third-highest grossing film of the year behind only Civil War and Deadpool. It should finish off with over $360 million by the end of its run.

The Nice Guys had a moderate drop to finish at #7, bringing in $6.4 million. The Shane Black-directed film was off its opening weekend by 43%, which is about expected for its genre. That brings its domestic total to $21.7 million; at this point it should be able to finish off with around $35 million in the US and oversea grosses will have to make up the difference to cover the $50 million budget.

Money Monster was down two spots to #9 in its third weekend with $4.3 million. The George Clooney/Julia Roberts thriller brought its total to $33.9 million domestically and $50.7 million worldwide. At this point it should finish with around $42 million domestically and should be able to make a minor profit when foreign grosses are added in. The budget was $27 million.

Making a leap into the top ten was romantic comedy Love & Friendship, up five spots thanks to a moderate expansion to 493 theaters with $2.5 million. Roadside Attractions is doing its usual platforming up strategy and it’s paying off here, as the adaptation of Jane Austin’s Lady Susan has scored high marks with critics (99% on Rotten Tomatoes) and word of mouth is spreading nicely. The film is up to $3.5 million and its final prospects depend on how Roadside builds it from here; it is a film that will stay low-key in the blockbuster-heavy season but could conceivably get as high as $10 million to $12 million if it doesn’t fade away. It has a budget of just $3 million.

Zootopia had the final spot in the top ten with $831,000 in its thirteenth weekend The film has now grossed $335.9 million domestically and $991.5 million worldwide. It should end its run at around $339 million and should cross $1 billion worldwide from a budget of $180 million.

The total weekend take was $161.6 million, up 17% from last year’s $138.5 million three-day take. Last year was led by San Andreas’ $54.6 million start and Pitch Perfect 2’s $14.8 million third weekend.

It seems likely that X-Men: Apocalypse will be a one-week champion, as it runs into Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows next weekend. That film probably won’t reach the surprise $65.6 million start of the first film in August of 2014 but should be able to clear $40 million without too much difficulty. Also opening next weekend are Andy Samberg’s Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping eying the high single-digits and Me Before You, a romantic drama with Emilia Clarke and Sam Clafin that is based on a well-received novel and should be in the mid-teens for its beginning.

Note: Numbers include Sunday estimates and are three-day estimates. A studio recoups 55% of a film’s grosses on average, meaning it needs to approximately double its budget to be profitable during its theatrical run.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Numbers)
1. X-Men: Apocalypse – $65 million ($65 million total)
2. Alice Through the Looking Glass – $28.1 million ($28.1 million total)
3. The Angry Birds Movie – $18.7 million ($66.4 million total)
4. Captain America: Civil War – $15.1 million ($372.6 million total)
5. Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising – $9.1 million ($38.3 million total)
6. The Jungle Book – $7 million ($338.5 million total)
7. The Nice Guys – $6.4 million ($21.7 million total)
8. Money Monster – $4.3 million ($33.9 million total)
9. Love & Friendship – $2.5 million ($3.5 million total)
10. Zootopia – $0.8 million ($335.9 million total)