10. X-Men: Apocalypse – likely $158 million
Audiences rejoiced when Bryan Singer returned to the X-Men franchise for one of the series’ most popular installments – X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014). The film was a sequel to both the original X-Men trilogy (2000-2006), as well as a sequel to the prequel trilogy that launched with X-Men: First Class (2011), combining both principal casts through the use of time-travel. It also returned Hugh Jackman as Wolverine – the most popular character in the movies – to front-and-center, partially proving that the franchise thrives on his shoulders… for now.
Only two years later, X-Men: Apocalypse – allegedly among the most popular storylines in the comics – opened to $65 million over its opening weekend. That’s a decent number, but it is also a 28% drop from its predecessor. Furthermore, it’s not all that much better than the $55 million opening of First Class from five years ago. What’s more alarming is that its daily numbers are now falling below First Class, as Apocalypse is crashed 66% in its second weekend. If it continues on a path similar to other comparable X-Men titles, it might only finish with around $158 million – ultimately selling less tickets than First Class, and significantly less tickets than Days of Future Past.
This is a sequel that fans may have wanted and could have driven to bigger numbers, but the film fought off early negative buzz due to the look of the title villain, Apocalypse, which outraged a number of people. Then the film infamously lifted its review embargo three weeks early only to have the majority of critics kick it to the curb. By the time of its opening weekend, reviews were a little more mixed, albeit mixed-negative. This created a situation where audiences weren’t exactly leaping to see the movie.
Apocalypse won’t be a bomb, but it will be a significant disappointment for Fox in comparison to its last two X-Men installments, Days of Future Past and Deadpool. Worldwide grosses will probably not get it close to those other two recent installments either. This situation also puts the future of the franchise in question, suggesting we might be headed for a major left-turn with this franchise as Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, and Bryan Singer already have one foot out the door.