X-Men: Apocalypse, Jennifer Lawrence, Mystique

In Theaters This Week (5/26/2016) – Alice 2 and X-Men: Apocalypse

Alice Through the Looking Glass, Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Mad Hatter
Each Thursday we look at what is going to be coming out in theaters this weekend, show you the trailers for the big releases, predict the box office winner and just generally give you enough of a carrot to pull you through the rest of the work week.  May 26th brings two heavyweights that are both underwhelming critics.  After a surprise win by The Angry Birds Movie last week, this week brings X-Men: Apocalypse (the ninth film in the X-Men franchise) and Alice Through the Looking Glass with Mia Wasikowska and Johnny Depp.

Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Isaac, X-Men Apocalypse, Mystique, Apocalypse

This was thought to be one of the biggest head-to-head matches of the summer with Disney and FOX squaring off with big budget sequels.  Unfortunately, both films (X-Men: Apocalypse and Alice Through the Looking Glass) are suffering from poor critical reception.  Apocalypse is the 2nd lowest reviewed X-Men movie of all-time (beating only Wolverine’s first solo film).  But its reviews look glowing compared to the sequel to Disney’s live-action Alice in Wonderland: Alice Through the Looking Glass.  The film, which was at 28% and falling on Rotten Tomatoes, looks fantastic but the story seems to be leaving critics cold.  Apocalypse is probably the highest-profile Marvel villain who has never been in a film.  The tease of his arrival at the end of Days of Future Past  had fans excited and Oscar Isaac is certainly a fantastic actor on a hot streak.  However, from the very first trailer the film failed to register at all with me.  The religious approach to Apocalypse left me cold, I am not impressed with what I’ve seen of the new cast and it seems like a lot of ‘splosions with an out-of-control plot.  Not what I expect from Brian Singer on the X-Men.  I definitely want to see it more than Alice, but not as much as The Nice Guys, which I still need to catch before it leaves theaters.

Alice Through the Looking Glass (Johnny Depp, PG, 1hr 48min)

X-Men: Apocalypse (Jennifer Lawrence, PG-13, 2hr 16min)

HOW DID WE DO LAST WEEK?
KT made the seemingly obvious pick that Captain America: Civil War would enjoy a third week in a row atop the box office.  Then you all went and saw The Angry Birds Movie, helped it eke out a win, and doomed us to 15 years of sequels.  I hope you are very proud of screwing up my win percentage.  (Lifetime record 9-3).

Angry Birds

WHO WILL WIN THE WEEKEND?
This is a tough call.  Both Alice and the X-Men have ready-made audiences that are going to go see the films even though neither is generating the kind of buzz I’m sure Disney and FOX hoped.  I think the X-Men have a bigger pull than Alice, and are riding a mutant high from earlier this year with Deadpool.  Which film ends up making the most may be a different story, but I think X-Men: Apocalypse will win a competitive weekend.
X-Men: Apocalypse, Professor Xavier, James McAvoy

4 thoughts on “In Theaters This Week (5/26/2016) – Alice 2 and X-Men: Apocalypse”

  1. In Alice’s favor, people might be experiencing superhero fatigue just around now, and with Suicide Squad looking really cool in the trailers, with fantastic early buzz surrounding it, people might want to take a breather and save their hard-earned cash. Also, the title “Apocalypse” might seem dark and edgy to parents, causing them to choose a less-dark, less-edgy Alice when they take their brood to the movies this weekend. Of course, Alice will be a weird, hallucinatory nightmarescape, but this will somehow be missed, because of branding and marketing.

    Also, I have no evidence of this, but I suspect that when a film dips into the mid-forties on RT, it might as well be in the mid-to-low thirties.

    But on X-Men’s side is the fact that superheroes are cool right now, while Through the Looking Glass was cool back in the Victorian Era. I think the question is not whether Apocalypse beats Alice, but how low X-Men gets, and how high Alice climbs in its second place position.

    I can’t wait to see The Nice Guys, but it seems like the sort of film that will play well at home, so I think Alice and Apocalypse first, in the theaters. Of course, Apocalypse is going to be heartbreaking, because it’s going to squander all the possibilities that have been built up over the course of this franchise, but I know exactly what to expect from Alice: a visual extravaganza with Depp and Cohen mugging surrealistically, and imagery right out of my childhood dreams, when I used to pretend I was living inside the novel. Also, the narrative will be an afterthought, and will have nothing to do with the book, but at this point I have accepted it.

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    1. Alice is down to 28%; I can’t justify on my budget right now seeing it in theaters so I’ll hit it at home. I keep plugging it, but while you’re waiting for The Nice Guys, check out Kiss Kiss Bang Bang with Val Kilmer and Robert Downey Jr. This was really the beginning of Downey’s comeback and helped him get cast as Iron Man. Totally underrated film.

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      1. The Nice Guys is going to be really good, but my hands are tied with Alice, because of my love for the source. It’s frustrating that Alice keeps getting made, and yet no one seems to ever understand the character or the material. Maybe I’m the one getting it wrong. There’s a partially animated Czech version that gave me nightmares as a kid, but at least that one grasped the darkness of the books. I hope this new one opening today does not drive the nail into the coffin, because I still hold out hope for a definitive adaptation.

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  2. Depp stands accused of beating his wife. That will push Alice into bomb territory, I think. Depp no longer has a career as a huge movie star. He never was meant to be one, as I have said before. His Pirates success backfired.

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