By: Matt Conway –
Memorial Day weekend is one of the year’s biggest weekends, and this year is no different. Two big blockbusters square off competing for the top spot.
The likely victor is X-Men: Apocalypse, which is the continuation of the X-Men reboot begun with X-Men: First Class. Similar to other super hero flicks, this sequel should get off to a strong debut.
The X-Men series is actually riding an all-time high. 2014’s Days of Future Past (which also opened on Memorial Day), was by far the highest earning film worldwide in the series. The series as a whole is the most storied of the superhero franchises, with many calling 2000’s X-Men the kick-off to the superhero era. Distributor Fox has put all its eggs in this film’s basket, marketing the film vigorously in previous weeks..
Despite being the oldest superhero brand in film, X-Men does not have the popularity of the MCU films or even DC’S films. For that reason, expectations for the film’s opening are always kept somewhat in check. What is very worrisome is word of mouth, with the film scoring a 47% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which is the second lowest in the series’s history (I think you can guess the first). Whether that will hurt the film this week or in future weekends will be interesting to watch.
X-Men: Apocalypse should get off to a strong start this weekend. Expect a debut around 75-85 million dollars over the four day weekend.
Also opening this weekend is Alice Through the Looking Glass, the sequel to the 2010 hit film. This is likely to pale in comparison to the original’s success.
Unlike most sequels, almost all of the major players are back. Tim Burton has moved to a producing role for this film, but stars Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, and Helena Bonham Carter are all back in their original roles. While there was a divide between critics and audiences with the original, audiences have continued to come back to the film and support Burton’s unique vision. Disney is clearly on a roll, and their marketing effort for this film is strong as usual.
However, it’s been a long time since the original film, with over six years passing by. Since then, Johnny Depp has lost a great deal of his draw as a star, and Tim Burton’s name has become much less of a benefit. Reviews for the film are quite poor, with a 28% rating being a tell-tale sign of the film’s lack of quality. The concept of the film itself is also a bit too out there, with this story never being featured before in a major light.
Alice in the Looking Glass should get off to a decent start, but don’t be shocked if it under-performs. An opening around 45-55 million should be expected over the four day weekend.
Projected Top 5:
1. X-Men: Apocalypse
2. Alice Through the Looking Glass
3. The Angry Birds Movie
4. Captain America: Civil War
5. Neighbors 2
Bar of Success
X-Men: Apocalypse has to at least reach 80 million over its extended opening. Alice Through the Looking Glass should aim for around 50 million.