• Box Office

World Box Office, May 23-29

Sometimes even the well oiled Disney machine stumbles. This appears to be the case with its reported $170-million sequel Alice: Through the Looking Glass, grossing “just” $100.5 million globally from its international launch. This blockbuster-budgeted film took second place on the domestic chart with just $33.5 million to earn a second place finish in its opening weekend. It also failed to unseat reigning chart topper X-Men: Apocalypse, which enjoyed a domestic debut of $65 million, nearly a third lower then the opening take for 2014’s Days of Future Past. Through the looking Glass stars Mia Wasikowska once again as Alice, along with return cast members (and Golden Globe winners and nominees) Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, and Helena Bonham Carter. The recently departed Golden Globe winner Alan Rickman’s turn as the voice of the Caterpillar will remain as  one of the celebrated British actor’s final big screen appearances. Franchise newcomer Sacha Baron Cohen plays Time, a powerful clock-like god figure and semi-antagonist. But this talented cast and strong sequel buzz weren’t enough to save Alice Through the Looking Glass from the unstoppable force of X-Men Apocalypse and Hollywood’s super-hero era. And some are now questioning if the opening may have been negatively impacted by the recent revelations about Depp’s personal life, with charges of spousal abuse and a restraining order emerging after the recent separation from now ex-wife Amber Heard.

Overseas Disney’s would-be tentpole earned just $55.3 million from 44 territories. Its top play was a mediocre $27 million opening in China, with a $5 million Mexican debut and a$4.6 million Russian launch following on its list of mid-shelf accolades. Brazil followed at $4.1 and the UK chimed in with an unenthusiastic $3.2 million. The film’s worldwide take will seem modest compared to its AAA production budget, but the combined factors of carrying a Disney movie’s typical potential for backend income and of landing in a month in which much of the world’s male population is focused on the UEFA European Football Championship give this film a strong chance of turning a healthy multimillion dollar profit.

Its domestic launch was moderately underwhelming but Fox’s X-Men: Apocalypse meanwhile trudged forward to yet another top place finish on the global chart with $120.3 million earned from a full fledged 80 international territories. The film features returning cast member Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy as Magneto and Professor X,  Golden Globe winner Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique and Sophie Turner as Jean Grey, while The Force Awakens’ (and Golden Globe winnerOscar Isaac plays nemesis super mutant Apocalypse. New opener South Korea brought $12 million, while Brazil added $4.8 million to reach a $13.5 million cumulative and the UK tacked on $3.7 million to reach a $17.5 million domestic total. So far the latest X-Men  adventure has earned a $185 million global cume, and looks set to finish its run around the not entirely deplorable $500 million mark.

Fellow international holdover The Angry Birds Movie  flexed its wings and coasted to a $31 sophomore overseas take. It scored the biggest animated opening day ever in India and earned $1.9 million on the subcontinent, and finished second in China with $12.6 million.  Its domestic take was worth $18.7 million and brought the feathered feature to $223 million worldwide cume.

Fellow video-game adaptation Warcraft, based on Blizzard Entertainment’s monstrously successful online PC franchise, made $31.5 million from its launch in 73 foreign territories. It made a staggering $10 million in Russia, and scored a number 1 debut in Germany with $5.9 million.

Warcraft launches at home next week amid a packed early summer slate that will see the addition of newcomers The Conjuring 2 and Now You See Me 2.  Stay tuned to see how it plays out against this strong cast of holdovers and newcomers. 

See the latest world box office estimates: worldwide_weekend_estimates_may_27_2016.pdf