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Considered the official beginning of the cinematic summer season, Memorial Day often represents a key battleground weekend for blockbuster films. Big budget adventures tend to duke it out over the course of this holiday, and it usually becomes a bloodbath. Memorial Day 2016 looks to be no different. We've said it before and we'll say it again: never underestimate the power of the superhero genre. The numbers have slowly begun to roll in, and it’s looking more and more like X-Men: Apocalypse will absolutely decimate Alice Through the Looking Glass this weekend.
According to a new report from THR, it seems that Bryan Singer’s latest X-Men adventure is off and running to a great start with a Thursday night haul of $8.1 million. Reviews be damned, the film is currently tracking for a $90 million opening over the course of the long weekend; coupled with its strong early performance overseas, Apocalypse seems to have defied the expectations of even its harshest critics. On the other hand, Alice Through the Looking Glass has not fared nearly as well. The sequel to Tim Burton’s 2010 Lewis Carroll adaptation is currently projected to barely crack $40 million this weekend – a paltry number compared to the original film’s $116 million opening six years ago.
This poor box office performance is made even less impressive when we consider the fact that the original Alice In Wonderland is one of the few movies to ever break the highly-coveted $1 billion mark at the box office. Despite the original film’s strong financial performance, it was met with a lukewarm response from fans and critics alike. By contrast, the X-Men universe is currently riding high off the success of 2014’s Days of Future Past and this February’s Deadpool, so 20th Century Fox seems to have struck while the iron was hot to great effect.
Recent events in Johnny Depp’s personal life likely won’t help Alice Through the Looking Glass do any better at the box office. Just as his film hit theaters this weekend, his wife Amber Heard filed for divorce as well as a restraining order on the grounds of alleged domestic violence on Depp’s part. While this news obviously doesn’t reflect upon the actual film itself, it has become an immense PR fiasco that will almost certainly deter a fair amount of people from seeing it.
We here at Cinema Blend will keep you posted regarding the financial performance of X-Men: Apocalypse as well as Alice Through the Looking Glass as Memorial Day Weekend presses on. One of these stories will seemingly have a happy ending, while the other most certainly will not.