‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ dominates, ‘Alice’ flops hard at weekend box office


It felt like every review I read for X-Men: Apocalypse said that the film was either “meh” or “not good.” Rotten Tomatoes’ score has it hovering around 48%, which isn’t too great. But it’s much better than the 28% for Alice Through the Looking Glass. Alice and X-Men went head-to-head in the box office this weekend in North America. And shock of shocks, X-Men is dominating. It’s almost as if the most famous actor in Alice Through the Looking Glass was just revealed to be a wife-beating jackass or something.

Both films cost around $170 million to make, and Apocalypse has already made about $130 million internationally. What’s shocking to me is that it really is opening pretty well, all things considered. On Friday, Apocalypse made $26.4 million, and it’s on track to make around $80 million for the long weekend. But what’s happening to Alice is being described as a “bloodbath.”

Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Apocalypse easily topped the Friday box office with $26.4 million from 4,150 theaters for a projected $80 million domestic debut over the long Memorial Day weekend, somewhat behind expectations. The holiday forecast is altogether grim for Disney’s family friendly Alice Through the Looking Glass. The sequel, skewered by critics, placed No. 2 Friday with roughly $9.7 million from 3,763 locations for a $40 million-$41 million debut — 65 percent behind director Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, which opened to a stunning $116 million in spring 2010.

In a public relations nightmare for Alice 2 star Johnny Depp, Through the Looking Glass began playing in theaters just as the actor’s wife, Amber Heard, was granted a restraining order after alleging Depp previously assaulted her. Earlier this week, Heard filed for divorce. Alice 2 sees Depp once again star as the Mad Hatter, while Mia Wasikowska reprises her role as Alice. However, Burton didn’t return to direct Through the Looking Glass; instead James Bobin, who helmed the Muppets franchise for Disney, took over directing duties. The film cost $170 million to produce, and has been ravaged by critics, although it nabbed an A- CinemaScore from moviegoers.

Heading into the weekend, tracking suggested Alice 2 would launch with $55 million-$65 million, while bullish box-observers believed Apocalypse could near $100 million. Fox, however, was more conservative, saying $80 million-plus.

[From THR]

Forbes says Alice will end up making $39-44 million over the holiday weekend, not $55-65 million. I think the more conservative estimate is probably correct, but we’ll see when all the numbers are in. I will say this though: Alice Through the Looking Glass was always going to be an uphill battle. The critics loathed the film and that was before Johnny Depp’s divorce drama exploded everywhere. Even before the past week, there were a lot of people wondering if Johnny Depp can really carry a film at this point, if he’s really worth his inflated paychecks, and if audiences are ready for him to go away. Ya think?



Photos courtesy of Fox, Disney and WENN.

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56 Responses to “‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ dominates, ‘Alice’ flops hard at weekend box office”

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  1. yellowrocket says:

    Ya, this film was going to flop even before Amber was forced.to bring this public. I watched his Graham Norton interview (with j-law and james mcEvoy) and I thought he seemed high. Drunk, absolutely, but I definitely think he was high too.

    • CornyBlue says:

      He looked like his brain was melting.

    • Opinionsandstuff says:

      People should boycott x-men for a similar reason. Brian Singer is a creepy perv at best and a pedo at worst. I just saw The Open Secret… There’s some serious allegations about Singer and his associates disclosed :/

      • imqrious2 says:

        Opinionsandstuff, after reading your comment I searched online, and finally found that documentary; I just finished watching it. I wanted to turn it off, as I felt so sickened for those boys, but, like passing a car wreck, you have to look. There’s not enough brain bleach in the world to dissolve the horror of seeing what went/is going on. And just the fact that ALL THOSE PEDOS ARE STILL WORKING…?????!!!!! WTF????!!!! I thought as a registered sex offender you aren’t allowed to work with kids again!

        There is not a hell hot enough for those scumbags.

      • Evie says:

        I really really wanted to see X-Men, but after hearing about Singer I’ve totally changed my mind. I cannot believe the the amount of stuff against him (and others in the business) and I can’t even consider supporting his projects anymore.

        I’m curious to know who else was mentioned in Open Secret, but I don’t have the stomach to watch it. Is there anywhere else I can find out who else to avoid?

      • artpunk44 says:

        Open Secret was eye-opening and horrifying. No one would distribute it either, surprise surprise. I now cannot conscionably watch anything associated with brian singer. It’s unthinkable that these disgusting people able to still find work in hollywood, despite being well known in the industry as pervs or child molesters.

  2. paolanqar says:

    It would have bombed even without all the drama of the last few days. I do not know a single person who wanted to watch this film. The first one was bad enough.
    I still think there is something off about Amber and her DV, I cannot put my finger on it but hopefully time will tell. It seems like there is much more to this story than Depp’s abuse towards Amber. Something doesn’t convince me 100%.

  3. Mltpsych says:

    Well I was planning on seeing it because I am a huge fan of Alice but no way will I support a movie with Depp in it. And I’m pissed off that now the Pirates ride at Disneyland is ruined for me.

    • Patty says:

      Why is The Pirates ride ruined, that has nothing to do with Depp. He doesn’t own it, he didn’t create it, and he doesn’t profit from it.

      • THE OG BB says:

        The is an animatronic Captain Jack Sparrow in that ride now. Maybe that is what she was talking about??

      • marjiscott says:

        I guess you have never been on the famous ride at Disneyland. Jack Sparrow is one of the characters during the ride. As far as Depp profiting from Pirates.. Are you freaking kidding me?

    • India Andrews says:

      The Pirates ride predated the movies by decades. Possible even by as many as fifty years. Go ahead and ride.

    • Pixelated says:

      Pirates is THE BEST ride at Disneyland IMHO. My hubby and I ride it at least several times each time we’re there and we don’t think Johnny Depp makes it amazing…it’s the sheer artistry and storytelling that makes it simply perfection. C’mon…if Johnny Depp’s drama makes you not want to ride that ride or go to Disneyland…then you didn’t want to go in the first place :)

  4. Pamels says:

    Depp actually has little screen time in this movie. And he still had Black Mass in 2015, which did well.

    • Amber says:

      What does “Black Mass” matter though? $63 million in NA (and $99M overall) is good. But it too underperformed on it’s opening weekend by a few million less than what was projected even after all that hype. It wasn’t another bomb by any means. But it didn’t break even on it’s $53M budget at the end of the day. And I don’t know what their marketing budget was on top of that. Also, depending on how they ended up paying Depp, (remember the $20M salary out of a $60M budget dispute), he may have gotten the other $7-10M by taking a chunk out of the returns as well. It had a “B” average CinemaScore (like Batman V Superman), a RT score of 75%, and a 68 on Metacritic. Black Mass’s performance did not come close to warranting how hyped to holy heaven it was to get Depp award buzz. That buzz peaked before most even saw it. (It was also like a Hardy/DiCaprio thing with Depp and Edgerton. Where one performance is just as well-received, if not considered the more impressive. But the other gets all the hype, because that’s the story the film’s PR is selling.) Then Black Mass ended up being mostly ignored during award season. The biggest nod he got was from SAG. (It was like Jennifer Aniston in “Cake”.) The only thing he won was the Palm Springs Festival award. You still have to go back to “On Stranger Tides” in 2011 to get a non-critical and/or box-office bomb or flop that Depp had more than a cameo in. Unless you want to give him some credit for “Into the Woods”. Otherwise it’s been nothing but “The Rum Diary”, “Dark Shadows”, “The Lone Ranger”, “Transcendence” and “Mortdecai” since. And “Looking Glass” is still being sold as a film that centers around The Hatter.

      • Pamels says:

        It did well critically and commercially, that’s why it matters. It earned him some of the best reviews of his career. “Black Mass” proved that he can still really carry a film.

      • Amber says:

        Alright. I just don’t think failing to recoup your budget and being “well”, “Ok”, “B/C+”, can out-way everything I just mentioned especially in my last two sentences. And I don’t believe Depp can carry a film unless he’s playing Jack Sparrow, which is also evidenced by the list of films he’s done in the last five years, including the mediocrity of “Black Mass”. I think the film was mostly forgotten about by Spring.

  5. The New Classic says:

    If Alice flops I wonder if the studio/people will try to blame it on Amber for opening this can of worms on Alice’s opening weekend. That seems like a likely thing to happen.

    • noway says:

      Maybe or they could blame Depp. I think they will probably go after Depp a bit more to reduce his usual paycheck as it is quite a bit heavier than Amber’s. I think it is always about the money when push comes to shove, and I am sure the studios will take advantage of that.

      • Lindsay says:

        They might privately blame Depp but publicly they’ll continue to support him and throw Amber under the bus if it comes to it. He is the star of the upcoming Pirates movie so Disney won’t try and make his PR worse, doubt his movie star clout, or risk pissing him off until PotC is out and the promotion for it is over. Then Disney may reassess their relationship with him. Until then their fates are tied.

    • Izzy says:

      Well, they might have tried, but her lawyer’s newest filings have copies of emails indicating she tried to settle things quietly and not distract from the opening, so her PR team could fight back, and then Disney would have to deal with the fallout of being seen as the behemoth blaming the victim. Any way they step, this looks to be kind of a clusterwhoops for them, their best course is to blanket “so sorry this is happening, support all parties and wish them all well.”

      • Melly says:

        Disney makes family friendly movie but are a brutal force to be reckoned with in the business world. If Amber is making them lose money, they will shut her up. They will not involve themselves publicly in the Amber/Johnny relationship, and I highly doubt they will even comment on it.

    • Luca76 says:

      Of course they will blame and shun Amber. Look at how women are treated in Hollywood. Amber isn’t a great talent in the first place and now she’s going to be seen as a troublemaker. Johnny Depp has powerful friends.

    • Sam says:

      The Alice sequel should never have been greenlit. The first Alice only did so well because it was the first 3-D movie to follow Avatar.

      Before the DV allegations broke, I thought Disney would blame Amber for not waiting two more weeks to file. And why shouldn’t they? The timing looked like a spiteful move on Amber’s part.

      Now that we know about the DV allegations and the puzzling choice of Team Depp to play hardball with Amber instead of at least trying stalling negotiation tactics…Disney execs should be furious with Depp. What’s more, they’ve got another Pirates movie in post-production, so the PR nightmare doesn’t end with Alice.

  6. Mike says:

    Funny. Just two days ago I was hoping that Alice would trounce X-Men (J-Flaw is my least favorite actress of all time) but now I’m glad that something big was there to step all over Johnny’s movie.

    Hope he never opens a #1 again.

    • my3cents says:

      Well, it seems like with all this attention towards Depp people are forgetting the Bryan Singer scandal not so long ago….wow they really made that go away fast…
      Just remembering the post about pedophiles in Hollywood.

      I say let’s boycott both!

      • Naya says:

        This was my first thought when I read the headline too. Johnny deserves to flop in every way possible. Also Bryan singer deserves to flop in e dry way possible.

        At least in Johnnys case the victim is not having to watch her abuser feted. Bryan Singers victims must be wondering why that same principle isn’t playing out in their case.

      • meh says:

        Directors and producers have a lot less name recognition for a lot of people because their image isn’t shoved in your face every second. Makes it easier for them to shrug off bad publicity and even scandals.

    • Saks says:

      Me too. But I’ll take the annoying yet harmless Jennifer Lawrence over an abuser assh0le any day. And even I like Anne, Helena and Mia, I hope this movie flops hard worldwide as it is sold mostly on Johnny’s name

      • imqrious2 says:

        The thing is, Singer is also an asshole and a perv, IMO. You need to see the documentary “An Open Secret”, and see how involved he’s been (allegedly, only for legal reasons! No doubt in my mind!) in the Hollywood young boys Pedo Ring. There was documentation; the reporter was told that they (the paper) was killing the story and he would get a nominal payment. Case closed. Some brave prosecutors brought a few to (minimal) justice, but those animals are, somehow, still working in the biz! I just don’t get it! How can *any* actors work with people like Singer, Allen, Polanski, et al??

      • Pamels says:

        It is doing well worldwide. Johnny will always be huge overseas.

  7. diamond says:

    Alice was never going to beat X-Men.

    JP is barely in the movie so it’s on Mia W

    • lisa2 says:

      yeah I never considered this a Depp movie. He is not the lead.. but he is the biggest name in the film.

      I never saw the first one and don’t plan on seeing this. Just not interested. It has nothing to do with Depp/Amber. I don’t think the viewing public will not go because of it. Many people had to choose between Xmen and Alice. Some people will go to see both films. They just chose one over the other. Next week will tell how Alice does. Schools are closing and families will be going to the movies.

    • CornyBlue says:

      It was sold on Depp’s name.

      • meh says:

        Exactly. He gets the fattest check because they expect his name to be the draw that puts people in the seats. Regardless of how much screen time he had. I really hope this slows down his career. He’s been phoning it in for years anyway. I’m so tired of him.

  8. Lynnie says:

    That’s disappointing about X-Men (the reviews I mean). Going to see it today, but I knew my friends and I should’ve waited for Finding Dory.

  9. Sunsetsnow says:

    Good! I’m glad Alice flopped.

  10. Bey says:

    i agree with the others, the movie would have been a flop anyway. it was also a too short time frame to have any impact. most people having seen the movie probably didnt even hear about the divorce and abuse and lots of people have to specifically plan to go to a movie (get a babysitter for example) so it was unlikely it would impact the movie so soon.

  11. Misti says:

    Alice was already tracking v poorly and had a severe lack of interest months back.
    Long before the Depp/Heard saga.

  12. BendyWindy says:

    This is a sequel no one asked for. I don’t think his divorce drama had much to do with it. They spent too much money making a film no one wants to see.

  13. CornyBlue says:

    I do not think Alice’s failure is due to Depp’s scandal but if the media can spin it like this and keep the blame off the male lead that would be so great thanks

  14. CharlotteCharlotte says:

    I didn’t like the first Alice movie. I may have gone to see this (more likely, rented it on DVD) in support of my love for HBC, MW and AH, but I’ll catch them in their next projects instead. No more support for JD movies. I haven’t supported Cruise, Sheen, Polanski or Allen in years (the latter two I stopped aupporting as soon as I was old enough to know about them). Johnny is on that list. His abhorrent behaviour over Australian laws was bad enough, but hell no to Domestic Violence. And if Disney, don’t condemn him, I’m done with them too. I was already one and half feet out the door with them anyway.

  15. Izzy says:

    Literally the only person I know who was considering this movie was a friend with four small kids, and she is waiting to hear from other parents whether it’s worth it. I don’t know why they bothered with this. Frankly, I’m wondering the same about Pirates 5.

    • Jaqen says:

      Actually making a sequel makes sense from a financial standpoint, the first Alice crossed the billion dollar mark in spite of lacklustre reviews. Which must be a bigger blow to Disney that its sequel is flopping so hard.

      A Man has seen X-Men: Apocalypse and while it’s contrived and the characters have no depth, it has a number of fun moments and colourful, bombastic action sequences. It’s not terrible, just disappointing if you enjoyed the first two movies in the trilogies. And it’s nowhere near the mess that was X-Men:The Last Stand or Wolverine Origins.

  16. Adr1s says:

    I don’t think Alice can be blamed on either Depp or Wasikowska. If you liked the first one (I didn’t) then this doesn’t have the “Tim Burton’s” bit before the title and that means the whole thing is a Burton look-alike. If you didn’t like the first one like me, then since the trailers aired you decided to wait until it was on netflix to watch it. Like yeah Johnny is shit, but I had decided looooong ago that I wouldn’t pay for this crap.

  17. Lady e says:

    I’m on the board of a nonprofit that owns a two screen movie theater. We have Alice this weekend. I hope it doesn’t bomb bc Disney makes it very hard to keep getting their movies unless you turn in really good numbers. Losing Disney would mean losing our theater.

  18. Patty says:

    Alice flopping isn’t going to hurt Depp. Besides, Depp has already been paid. And from what I hear he basically has a glorified cameo in the film. The film flipping will probably hurt some people but Depp isn’t one of them.

  19. Laura says:

    I must be the only adult (without children) that actually wants to see “Alice Through the Looking Glass”. I loved the first movie and think that the sequel looks like fun. I don’t know anything about the situation between Johnny Deep and his soon to be ex-wife, and anyways, it has zero impact on whether or not I want to see this movie.

    • Tulip says:

      You should go! Visually it’s beautiful and you have Alice taking charge of everything, in outfits that aren’t super-sexy-seductress like or revealing. Plus there’s a good sense of real adventure.
      Warning: I haven’t read the book, but apparently the movie doesn’t use it much. But if you liked the first movie, I think you’d enjoy the second.

  20. Sarah says:

    Yikes the first movie was terrible. I liked Mia in it but cringed through every second that pathetic caricature Depp was on screen. That movie for him was just a big circle jerk “look I do random accents and am so artsy”. He has been a joke for years now – hopefully now his career will finally die and we never have to suffer through his embarrassing, racist, poorly acted “characters” again!

  21. cleveland girl says:

    I thought this movie came out like 2 years ago already … I had no idea it was a sequel, it looked exactly like the 1st one

  22. Lady e says:

    My daughter went and saw it with some friends (she’s 8) and she loved it.

  23. Marianne says:

    I doubt the allegations around Johnny are making much of an impact. While the people here on Celebitchy seem to be more Team Amber, most people on other websites/links seem to be Team Johnny.

    I just think it ly more has to do with the fact that the first Alice film was so panned both by critics and audiences. Like it made a ton of movie so I understand why that made a sequel. I just don’t think there were many people who actually wanted the sequel.

    Saw Xmen and I actually quite liked it and don’t get a lot of the hate. I mean sure, it probably could have cut out a sequence or two but I found it enjoyable.

  24. Darlene says:

    I saw the movie with my daughter (12) this weekend. I liked it well enough, but Depp is not good in it. Fortunately, he’s not carrying the movie, Mia is, and she’s good. It was a ridiculous time-travel premise with HUGE HUGE holes, but the GIRL KICKS BUTT in the movie and I enjoyed watching it with my daughter. Would I have seen it if I weren’t a parent of a child who wanted to see it? Yes, but on Redbox, not in the theatre.