The X-Men franchise has always been an underdog in the superhero genre, and that continues heading into Memorial Day Weekend. While the latest entry didn't do Batman V Superman or Civil War opening night numbers during its Thursday night preview in 3,565 theaters, X-Men: Apocalypse did manage to pull in a healthy $8.2 million when it debuted at 7PM last night. This was definitely enough to beat X-Men: Days of Future Past, the previous team effort that landed back in the summer of 2014.
X-Men: Days of Future Past collected $8.1 million during its Thursday night previews when it opened in the exact same Memorial Day frame just two years ago. It went onto have a $35.5 million Friday. As it stands now, the third entry X-Men: The Last Stand, which debuted way back in 2006, still holds the best Memorial Day Friday opening with $45.1 million. It doesn't look like Apocalypse is going to reach that plateau, at least according to Deadline.
X-Men: Apocalypse will have no problem taking the top spot at the box office this Memorial Day Weekend, though it faces stiff competition in the Disney sequel Alice Through the Looking Glass. They will be the top two draws over this four-day traditional summer starter holiday. Right now, the sixth proper X-Men movie is speculated to earn at least $100 million through Monday. Fox, on the other hand, has a more conservative take on their own movie, and have supplied estimates of an $80M+ weekend.
Alice Through the Looking Glass is expected to rest at between $55 million and $60 million when all is said and done. In terms of best Memorial Day Weekend box office of all time, X-Men: The Last Stand stands in third place with $122.9 million. X-Men: Days of Future Past is slotted in fifth place with $110.6 million. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End is the best memorial day weekend earner of all time, with $139.8 million, and is followed by Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull in second place with $126.9 million. In fourth place is Fast & Furious 6 with $117 million. Right now, Apocalypse is pacing Days of Future Past in ticket sales, so it's possible that it could manage to squeeze its way into the top five before the weekend is over.
Alice Through the Looking Glass is on par with Disney's 2014 live-action fairy tale release Maleficent, which pulled in $69.4 million during its first frame in the post-Memorial Day summer box office. Neither of these two new releases are faring well on the critical side of things. X-Men 6 is currently the worst-reviewed movie with 45% rotten on Rotten Tomatoes. While The Last Stand had a 58% Rotten score, it fared better with audiences, who awarded it an A- CinemaScore. 2014's Days of Future Past was actually a massive hit with critics and fans alike, scoring a stellar 91% Fresh rating and an A Cinemascore.
Alice Through the Looking Glass is hitting at the same notion. Reviewers have called it deathly boring with a 27% Rotten Score. It is earning praise amongst family crowds, which will help keep it buoyed throughout the next few days. Though it might not have a strong leg to stand on as the summer season continues into May. We won't have exact estimates until later on Memorial Day Monday. But as things appear now, X-Men: Apocalypse will be the winner of this Holiday.
Though, the mutant adventure could disappear quite quickly with many more summer films waiting in the wings to take over the box office. Next weekend sees the debut of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows and the Lonely Island comedy Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, along with the romantic drama Me Before You, which could usurp all to become an unexpected summer sleeper hit. We'll have to wait and see how this all plays out.