Last weekend, Sony's Angry Birds Movie managed to take down two-time box office champ Captain America: Civil War. The Marvel sequel has already taken in more than $300 million domestically and $1 billion worldwide after just three frames in theaters. Unfortunately for Sony's animated comedy, the Angry Birds' reign will certainly be short-lived, with two highly-anticipated movies duking it out for box office supremacy starting this Friday. 20th Century Fox will roll out X-Men: Apocalypse, while Disney will debut Alice Through the Looking Glass, setting the stage for a big box office showdown. According to our projections, the mutants of X-Men: Apocalypse should be able to come out on top against the magical characters of Alice's Wonderland.
Box Office Mojo reports that X-Men: Apocalypse is slated to debut in approximately 4,000 theaters this weekend, with Disney expected to roll out Alice Through the Looking Glass in roughly 3,700 theaters. Both of those counts are currently below Captain America: Civil War, which remained in 4,226 theaters last weekend, but that number could change heading into its fourth weekend in theaters. Barring a sudden rash of positive reviews, both of these new releases aren't shaping up to be critical hits. X-Men: Apocalypse currently sits at a middling 52% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, while Alice Through the Looking Glass has a 48% rating. Despite those low marks, X-Men: Apocalypse is expected to debut on top with $81.5 million, while Alice Through the Looking Glass follows in second place with an estomated $56.2 million.
For X-Men: Apocalypse, that debut will come in just shy of X-Men: Days of Future Past's $90.8 million opening weekend, but well above X-Men: First Class' $55.1 million debut. It will also fall short of this year's blockbuster X-Men spinoff Deadpool, which took in $132.4 million in its opening weekend, the best ever for an R-rated movie and X-Men franchise history. X-Men: Apocalypse' critical take is also much lower than X-Men: First Class (87% on Rotten Tomatoes) and X-Men: Days of Future Past (91% on Rotten Tomatoes). However, these projections represent even worse news for Alice: Through the Looking Glass, which is shaping up to debut with less than half of the opening week take of its predecessor, 2010's Alice in Wonderland. That adventure opened with $116.1 million en route to $334.1 million domestic and $1.02 billion worldwide. However, the sequel is on pace with Alice in Wonderland's critical reception, which earned just a 52% score on RT.
Following the critically acclaimed global smash hit X-Men: Days of Future Past, director Bryan Singer returns with X-Men: Apocalypse. Since the dawn of civilization, he was worshipped as a god. Apocalypse, the first and most powerful mutant from Marvel's X-Men universe, amassed the powers of many other mutants, becoming immortal and invincible. Upon awakening after thousands of years, he is disillusioned with the world as he finds it and recruits a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto (Michael Fassbender), to cleanse mankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign. As the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance, Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) with the help of Professor X (James McAvoy) must lead a team of young X-Men to stop their greatest nemesis and save mankind from complete destruction.
In Disney's Alice Through the Looking Glass, an all-new spectacular adventure featuring the unforgettable characters from Lewis Carroll's beloved stories, Alice returns to the whimsical world of Underland and travels back in time to save the Mad Hatter. Directed by James Bobin, who brings his own unique vision to the spectacular world Tim Burton created on screen in 2010 with Alice in Wonderland, the film is written by Linda Woolverton based on characters created by Lewis Carroll. Alice Through the Looking Glass reunites the all-star cast from the worldwide blockbuster phenomenon, including: Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway and Helena Bonham Carter are also back as the White Queen and the Red Queen. They join the voices of Alan Rickman (Blue Caterpillar), Stephen Fry (Cheshire Cat), Michael Sheen (White Rabbit) and Timothy Spall (Bayard). We are also introduced to several new characters in this exciting sequel, including Zanik Hightopp (Rhys Ifans), the Mad Hatter's father and Time himself (Sacha Baron Cohen), a peculiar creature who is part human, part clock.
Alice Kingsleigh (Wasikowska) has spent the past few years following in her father's footsteps and sailing the high seas. Upon her return to London, she comes across a magical looking glass and returns to the fantastical realm of Underland and her friends the White Rabbit (Sheen), Absolem (Rickman), the Cheshire Cat (Fry) and the Mad Hatter (Depp), who is not himself. The Hatter has lost his Muchness, so Mirana (Hathaway) sends Alice on a quest to borrow the Chronosphere, a metallic globe inside the chamber of the Grand Clock which powers all time. Returning to the past, she comes across friends - and enemies - at different points in their lives, and embarks on a perilous race to save the Hatter before time runs out. Rounding out the top 10 this week will be holdovers The Angry Birds Movie ($28.7 million), Captain America: Civil War ($18.2 million) and Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising ($11.4 million).
Rounding out the top 10 this weekend will be The Nice Guys ($7.9 million), The Jungle Book $6.5 million), Money Monster ($4.2 million), The Darkness ($1.3 million) and Zootopia $1 million). Also opening in limited release this weekend is Abramorama's As I AM: The Life and Times of DJ AM, Strand's Chevalier, FilmRise's Holy Hell, Adopt Films' The Idol, Magnolia's The Ones Below and Well Go USA's The Wailing. We don't know for certain if any of these movies will be expanding to wider releases in the weeks to come, so stay tuned.
Looking ahead to next weekend, Paramount will roll out the action-packed sequel Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, alongside Warner Bros.' romance Me Before You and Universal's comedy Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping. Also debuting in limited release is Independent's sci-fi thriller Approaching the Unknown, United Entertainment Partners' drama The Final Master, Oscilloscope Pictures' drama The Fits and FilmRise's documentary The Witness. Be sure to check back on Sunday for the box office estimates, and again next Tuesday for the next round of predictions. Until then, check out our predictions for the weekend of May 27.