Of course Fox’s “X-Men: Apocalypse” was the number one film this Memorial Day Weekend, with $65 million for the first three days; though that number will be higher once Monday’s holiday numbers come in ($78 million total is expected). Despite how impressive that may sound, it’s a huge disappointment compared to other “X-Men” opening weekends, which have been better. In fact “Apocalypse” was projected to do around $90 million for the first three days, and $110 million for the four day weekend.
I have to admit that when I saw the trailer for the film, I said to myself, it is going to tank. “Who wants to see this crap?” The hardcore fans rushed out to see it Thursday night and Friday; but the lousy word of mouth hurt it on Saturday.
No doubt the negative reviews (from fans and critics who saw it early) even before the film was released, were a factor. Yet Fox was so hyped about the movie that they actually moved up the original date for press screenings, confident that they had a major winner on their hands. Maybe the should have waited, since, almost immediately word started to leak that it was the worst “X-Men “movie since Brett Ratner’s “X-Men: The Last Stand.” And some said it was even worse then that.
But what do you say? Comic books movies always do well despite the reviews. But there’s a thing about those “X-Men movies;” they haven’t been all that successful financially for Fox.
There have been seven “X-Men” films since 2000, and, with the exception of one, they have grossed, worldwide, between $300-400 million. Now, yes, that sounds like a lot of money and it is. However, when you take into account what these “X-Men” films cost to make and market, it would be a miracle if Fox has actually seen any real profit from them. Why they keep making them, is the question. I guess it could be so that they can claim a Marvel property that they own, hoping that, one day, it’ll pay off for them. But they should seriously consider selling back the property to Marvel. They can’t afford it anymore.
The only exception to these films was the previous “X-Men” film, “Days of Future Past,” which grossed some $748 million worldwide; but a lot of other superhero films have made more than that globally; just this year alone, films like “Captain America: Civil War” and “Batman vs Superman.” And EVERYONE hated “B vs S!”
Which brings us to the end of the world bit; or rather Hollywood’s end. Of course it looks like the studios are making even more money now than ever, but those figures don’t tell the whole story. As I have written about before, Hollywood’s over reliance on comic book movies, sequels, video game adaptations and remakes puts it on a very precarious course. The box office figures may look impressive, but, nowadays, it costs so much to make these movies that the studios are basically just managing to keep their heads above water.
Add to that numb-skull decisions that no one can explain. Take for example Universal’s unexplained decision to make a sequel to their 2012 “Snow White and the Huntsman,” a film that did O.K at the box office, but was nothing to write home about. Yet the studio greenlit “The Huntsman: Winter War,” a sequel that no one was interested in, nor was anxiously waiting for, and which, not surprisingly, crashed and burned back in April.
Or even more unexplained is their upcoming film adaptation of the “Warcraft” video game which opens in June. Forget that most other films based on video games notoriously tanked at the box office, why would Universal spend $160 million on a film based on a video game that experts say peaked in popularity back in 2003? Box office analysts are already predicting that “Warcraft” could open with a disastrous figure as low as $20 million.
A few years ago, Steven Spielberg, in a speech, predicted that a day of reckoning was coming soon; that a massive failure of several super expensive films would bring Hollywood to its knees and the whole system crashing around them. Many people poo-pooed Spielberg’s word, arguing that it was hypocritical of him to attack the blockbuster mentality, when it was he and George Lucas who basically created that blockbuster mentality in the first place.
Also, others mocked Spielberg because he isn’t the powerhouse box office director that he was back on the 80’s and 90’s. They pointed out that, of late, his films, for which financing hasn’t come as easy as it has for him in the past, haven’t been box office smashes; and that his latest film, “The BFG,” coming out this summer, looks iffy at the box office, at best.
Still one cannot deny what he predicted; and if Hollywood doesn’t change the way it’s operating currently, they very well could be headed for a rude awakening down the road.
Recently, some anonymous person posted a 16-minute video on YouTube explaining the mess that Hollywood is currently in, and how it got there, which is pretty much on point. (Watch below)
But it doesn’t just stop with “X-Men.” The second place film this weekend was another major disappointment – Disney’s “Through the Looking Glass,” its sequel to the very successful Tim Burton “Alice in Wonderland” which, in 2010, became only the second film in Disney’s history to gross $1 bullion worldwide. (Though “Toy Story 3,” which came out just a few months later, would do the same thing too)
“Wonderland” opened with $116 million and went on to gross over $334 million domestically. However, it’s obvious that “Looking Glass” won’t even come close, with a comparably paltry $26 million opening. No doubt execs at Disney are wondering whether a second trip to “Wonderland” was really necessary.
Number 3 on the list was last week’s No.1 film – the “Angry Birds” movie, while “Captain America: Civil war” is still holding on strong on fourth place.
1) X-Men: Apocalypse Fox $65,000,000 –
2) Alice Through the Looking Glass BV $28,112,000
3) The Angry Birds Movie Sony $18,700,000 Total: $66,353,309
4) Captain America: Civil War BV $15,135,000 Total: $372,610,948
5) Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising Uni. $9,100,000 Total: $38,336,580
6) The Jungle Book BV $6,967,000 Total: $338,478,909
7) The Nice Guys WB $6,370,000 Total: $21,733,672
8) Money Monster TriS $4,250,000 Total: $33,902,226
9) Love & Friendship RAtt. $2,496,000 Total: $3,489,548
10) Zootopia BV $831,000 Total: $335,874,645
11) The Darkness HTR $750,000 Total: $9,862,379
12) The Lobster (US Release) A24 $725,092 Total: $1,540,007
The Hollywood crash is coming: