Sunday, May 31, 2015

'San Andreas' surprises with $53.2 million, 'Aloha' lukewarm in 6th place at weekend box office

After a Memorial Day weekend that disappointed many in Hollywood, the box office roared back to life this weekend with the arrival of Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema's San Andreas. The Dwayne Johnson-led picture grossed a spectacular $53.2 million, which was well above most expectations. The epic disaster picture was tracking around $40 million, but thanks to the star power of The Rock, the film was able to fight its way to a much more impressive debut. Although critics are mostly giving the cheesy disaster film a soft pass, audiences seemed to enjoy themselves, handing San Andreas an "A-" Cinemascore. The film's budget has not been officially revealed by the studio, but thanks to Forbes, we know that the budget is just over $100 million. Not bad at all, and with an additional $60 million in international grosses, San Andreas' global total is standing at a mighty $113.2 million. Look for a finish around $400-$450 million. It's not a bad film at all, and if you're bored at any point during the summer, San Andreas might be a good way to pass the time.

Universal's sleeper hit Pitch Perfect 2 continued its spectacular run in second place with $14.3 million, down only 53.3% from last weekend. The musical/comedy has snagged $147.5 million at the domestic box office and is working its way to a total around $180 million. For a film that cost very little, that's incredibly impressive. Once again, props to Universal for knocking this one out of the park.

Disney's Tomorrowland has certainly seen less success. The $190 million sci-fi extravaganza opened poorly in its debut frame, and plummeted 58.2% to third place this weekend. The film took in $13.8 million and has grossed a total of $63.1 in the US. For an original sci-fi film, that's not terrible, but with that budget, Disney needed something much, much better. The repercussions of this disappointment are already being felt on the Disney lot, with Tron 3 being shelved by the Mouse House.

Mad Max: Fury Road, on the other hand, is definitely not a disappointment. George Miller's 3D postapocalyptic epic rolled into theaters off a wave of terrific buzz, and in the weeks since its opening, the film has been incredibly impressive. Fury Road finished in fourth place this weekend, and pulled in another $13.6 million. The fourth installment in the Mad Max franchise has now grossed an astonishing $115.9 million. Look for a final total around $150 million.

Just behind Fury Road was Disney's Avengers: Age of Ultron, which grossed $10.9 million in its fifth weekend of release. The superhero sequel's total now stands at $427 million and it's likely that the film will climb to $450 million. Certainly lower than the original, but still mighty impressive. In sixth place was Cameron Crowe's Aloha, the only other major release of the week. The Hawaii-set romantic comedy grossed $10 million, which is probably not what Sony was hoping for. However, in the aftermath of incredibly negative buzz from leaked Sony emails and horrific reviews (17% on Rotten Tomatoes), the studio couldn't have had huge expectations for this film. And with a poor "B-" Cinemascore, it's likely that Aloha will tap out around $30 million.

Poltergeist was the only other film that made much money this weekend, grossing $7.8 million in seventh place. The poorly received horror flick has now made $38.2 million. Not much, but then again, the film didn't cost more than $30 million to make. Poltergeist should finish around $55 million. Far From the Madding Crowd, Hot Pursuit and Home rounded out the top ten.

Next weekend sees the release of Entourage on Wednesday, Spy and Insidious- Chapter 3. It should be a big weekend. Here are my predictions:

1. Spy- $51.5 million
2. Insidious- Chapter 3- $36 million
3. San Andreas- $24.9 million
4. Entourage- $13 million ($18 million Five-Day)
5. Mad Max: Fury Road- $8 million
6. Pitch Perfect 2- $7.7 million
7. Tomorrowland- $6.8 million
8. Avengers: Age of Ultron- $6.6 million
9. Aloha- $4.9 million
10. Poltergeist- $4.5 million

Image Credits: Variety, Deadline, Slate

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