UK Box Office

With £5.31m plus £2.05m in previews, X-Men: Apocalypse easily elbowed aside a flagging Captain America: Civil War to win the UK weekend box office. But how does that £7.35m opening compare to previous entries in the X-Men franchise?

The bad news for Fox and Marvel is that the number is down on the debut of previous instalment, Days of Future Past, which kicked off two years ago with £9.14m, including previews of £1.59m. However, that film had the benefit of combining both X-Men casts, a time-travel conceit that cannot easily be repeated. Predecessor First Class, which introduced younger cast members James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and co, began with £5.44m, including previews of £2.01m. In other words, Apocalypse has delivered the biggest opening for an X-Men film that doesn’t feature Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen.

Only two X-Men/Wolverine movies have cracked £20m at the UK box office. X-Men 2 was first to do so in 2003, with £20.7m. X-Men: Days of Future Past overshot the target in 2014, with £27.1m. Helpfully, this time around Apocalypse does not face much direct competition in the coming weeks, unless you count videogame spinoff Warcraft: the Beginning, arriving on 3 June. Less helpfully, reviews have been soft, with a 51/100 score at Metacritic, which suggests the film may struggle to engage broader audiences once the hardcore X-Men fanbase has been burned through.

Apocalypse’s £7.35m opening compares with a giant £13.73m (including previews of £3.76m) for X-Men spin-off Deadpool, in February. The disparity between those two debut numbers is one that few would have predicted at the start of the year.

The family battle: Angry Birds v The Jungle Book

After a relatively disappointing debut of £2.12m, Sony Animation’s The Angry Birds Movie makes up lost ground with a sensational hold, down just 6%, with second-frame takings of £2.01m. After 10 days, the spinoff of the Rovio game app has reached a reasonably healthy £4.55m.

One challenge for Angry Birds in the UK has been the sustained performance of Disney’s The Jungle Book, a film that has been particularly huge with families despite an all-audience positioning. The Jungle Book added another £1.45m at the weekend (its sixth), down just 11% from the previous frame, and now stands at £41.3m. The Jungle Book is the only 2016 release so far to crack £40m at the UK box office.

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