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'X-Men: Apocalypse' dominating Memorial Day weekend box office

'X-Men: Apocalypse' dominating Memorial Day weekend box office
"X-Men: Apocalypse" is projected to take in about $80 million through the four-day Memorial Day weekend. (20th Century Fox)

It's the battle of the Hollywood blockbusters this Memorial Day weekend as "X-Men: Apocalypse" and "Alice Through the Looking Glass" compete during the holiday weekend.

And "X-Men: Apocalypse" is crushing the competition.

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The latest installment in 20th Century Fox's "X-Men" franchise scored $26.4 million at the box office Friday, and is projected to take in about $80 million through the four-day holiday weekend.

Bryan Singer, who has directed three previous "X-Men" films, returned to helm the new $178-million picture starring series regulars Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy and newcomers such as Oscar Isaac and Sophie Turner.

Singer's 2014 entry "X-Men: Days of Future Past" opened with $110 million during its opening Memorial Day weekend and had the benefit of blending the current franchise stars with the iconic cast from the original installments.

The latest chapter opened with weaker reviews than its predecessor, but the popularity of the franchise and the star power of the Lawrence-led cast will certainly help. CinemaScore audiences liked it better than critics, giving it an A-minus.

Though its demographic is far different than the mutant marvels of "X-Men," Disney's "Alice Through the Looking Glass" was having trouble luring audiences in its opening day.

The live-action fairy tale sequel set in the magical world of Alice in Wonderland and starring Johnny Depp, placed second after finishing Friday with an estimated $9.7 million.

Disney's $170-million fantasy is expected to collect $40 million over the four-day holiday weekend, a weaker tally than projected by analysts.

The first film in the series, "Alice in Wonderland," was released in 2010 and reunited director Tim Burton with Depp, who have worked together on many films including "Sweeney Todd" and "Edward Scissorhands."

The original pulled in an impressive $1 billion worldwide, however Burton didn't return for the sequel. Helmed by James Bobin, it opened to weak reviews.

In its second weekend, Sony's animated "The Angry Birds Movie" took in $5 million on Friday with a projected holiday weekend gross of between $20 million and $25 million.

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