- Alan Markfield/20th Century Fox
Are the days of the $100 million Memorial Day weekend over?
This is turning out to be another soft holiday weekend at the box office with lackluster new releases not motivating audiences to leave their beach chairs.
Though “X-Men: Apocalypse” will win the four-day weekend, with an estimated $65 million as of Sunday and a projected $80 million by Monday, that’s not as strong as the previous X-Men movie, 2014’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past” which opened with over $110 million.
The other big release of the weekend, “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” was already limping into the weekend as the film only has a 29% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. News on Friday that the film’s star, Johnny Depp, allegedly physically abused his estranged wife Amber Heard, who now has a restraining order against Depp, certainly hasn’t helped. The movie has taken in just $28.1 million as of Sunday, and a projected $35 million by Monday.
The sequel to 2010’s “Alice in Wonderland,” which would go on to earn over $1 billion worldwide, isn’t going to do the same business.
Deadline pointed out the gory reality about recent Memorial Day weekends when it comes to box office:
Following a record-breaking four-day total of $314 million at the US box office in 2013 (thanks to a $117 million opening by “Fast & Furious 6”), box office dropped 26% in 2014 and 16% last year (the number one film of the weekend in 2015 was “Tomorrowland” with just $42.6 million).
This is a mixture of people deciding to hit the beach and pool parties instead of the multiplex, and that movies already in theaters are more attractive than the new releases (especially this year where movies like “Angry Birds,” “Captain America: Civil War,” and “The Jungle Book,” are still going strong).
The good news is this Memorial Day weekend will be a stronger earner than last year’s. But don’t expect the Hollywood studios being that joyful during the Monday holiday.