Movies & TV / Columns

Where Does X-Men: Apocalypse Rank Among Its Franchise?

May 30, 2016 | Posted by Steve Gustafson

Heading into Memorial Day Weekend, analysts were predicting X-Men: Apocalypse to debut to between $80 million and $100 million. The latest X-Men chapter easily took the top spot, earning an estimated $65 million. It is on course to pull in over $76 million over the four-day holiday. That’s a good, not great, start but a significant drop from the $110.5 million that X-Men: Days of Future Past made back on the 2014 Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Fox domestic distribution chief Chris Aronson said he was “exceptionally pleased” with the numbers and feels confident that the film’s A-minus CinemaScore would set it up for repeat business. “It’s a challenging marketplace, to be sure, but the domestic opening coupled with the international rollout puts us in terrific shape,” he said. Overseas, Apocalypse has made $185.8 million, which will bring its global haul to more than $260 million after the weekend.

Those numbers don’t put the X-Men into Marvel or Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice territory but are good enough to keep the franchise going. But where does X-Men: Apocalypse sit when compared to the rest of the X-Men movies?

X-Men: Apocalypse is the ninth installment in the mutant franchise that’s been kicking since 2000. We’ve been treated to:

X-Men (2000)
X2: X-Men United (2003)
X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
X-Men: First Class (2011)
The Wolverine (2013)
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
Deadpool (2016)
X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

At the box office, their worldwide totals line up like so:

Deadpool: $763.2 million
X-Men: Days of Future Past: $747.9 million
X-Men: The Last Stand: $459.4 million
The Wolverine: $414.8 million
X2: X-Men United: $407.7 million
X-Men Origins: Wolverine: $373.1 million
X-Men: First Class: $353.6 million
X-Men: $296.3 million

X-Men: Apocalypse…to be determined.

As we all know, box office totals aren’t reflective of quality. Here’s the fun part. I think most agree that X2 X-Men United is not only the best X-Men movie but can be considered one of the best all-around superhero movies of all time. X2 captures the spirit of what the X-Men are about and delivers a well paced and well balanced movie.

While Deadpool isn’t for everyone, I enjoyed it immensely because it perfectly showcases the tonal humor and appeal that the Deadpool character, when written by Joe Kelly, had with fans. Deadpool felt like it was made by people who “got” the character and not by a studio committee who created the movie with box office dollars in mind.

I liked The Wolverine for the most part but when it missed (the ending), it missed hard. I put X-Men: Apocalypse in the middle as well. It was good, had the potential to be great, but just fell flat thanks to a miscast villain, acting by the numbers, and missed characterization.

When it comes to X-Men: The Last Stand…WOOF! The less said the better. I’ve seen it twice and that was more than enough.

So how would I rank them, best to worst?

X2: X-Men United
Deadpool
X-Men
X-Men: First Class
The Wolverine
X-Men: Apocalypse
X-Men: Days of Future Past
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
X-Men: The Last Stand

Remember, this is purely MY OPINION. I expect there to be some opinions that don’t match mine but I’ll be SHOCKED if someone lists The Last Stand anywhere in the top 3. We have some Grade A trolls here sometimes but no one is that bad. Unless, of course, Bret Ratner posts here.

How do you rank the X-Men movies?