'X-Men,' 'Alice' disappoint, box office still tops last year

IT WAS a slow holiday weekend for celebrity silliness and for Alice Through the Looking Glass.

]X-Men: Apocalypse debuted on top with an estimated $65 million through Sunday and was expected to add on $15 million Monday.

Alice did just $28.1 million.

Both films were ripped by critics.

Alice, however, had to deal with more than bad reviews. On Friday, as the film was hitting theaters, Amber Heard, star Johnny Depp's wife, was granted a restraining order after alleging the actor previously assaulted her. Some fans called for a boycott of Alice.

Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for comScore, said, "I think the reviews had more to do with the film's performance than any personal drama for Depp."

The film had been expected to open above $60 million and the gross is a staggering fall for a sequel. Alice in Wonderland, featuring then-novel 3-D, made more than $1 billion worldwide in 2010 after opening with $116 million domestically.

"It's a disappointing result," said Dave Hollis, distribution chief for Disney. "We have embarked on a branded tent-pole strategy that makes big bets. But when you make big bets, there are times when you have results that are disappointing."

Most of Disney's big bets this year have paid off big. The studio is already crossing $4 billion in ticket sales - a record pace buoyed by hits like Zootopia, The Jungle Book and Captain America: Civil War.

The seventh X-Men installment opened well below the $90.8 million debut of 2014's X-Men: Days of Future Past or the $132.4 million bow of February's "X-Men" spinoff Deadpool.

Overall comScore said business over the weekend was up about 5 percent from Memorial Day last year when Disney's Tomorrowland bombed with $33 million.

TATTBITS

* A bookkeeper who stole $234,500 from former "Saturday Night Live" cast member Joe Piscopo has been sentenced in New Jersey to three years in prison.

Frank Larocca pleaded guilty in February to theft by unlawful taking. His wife also pleaded guilty to theft and is expected to be sentenced to three years' probation.

Prosecutors say Piscopo hired Larocca to manage his bank account and pay his bills.

Instead, Larocca paid his own bills.

- Daily News wire services

contributed to this report.

gensleh@phillynews.com

215-854-5678 @DNTattle