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Weekend Box Office: San Andreas Shakes Things Up, Aloha Falls Flat

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By Chris Kavan - 05/31/15 at 08:44 PM CT

Those who doubted the drawing power of Dwayne Johnson after his less-than-stellar Hercules showing can doubt no longer. As a solo act, Johnson can finally call himself a true action hero. On the other side of things, Cameron Crowe continued down the road of mediocre as Aloha failed to crack the top five in its opening weekend. With Aloha failing to spark much excitement, there weren't a lot of other sparks at the box office, thought the holdovers continue to edge ever closer to some big milestones.


How big was San Andreas for Johnson? After last year's Hercules sputtered at the box office, opening to less than $30 million and winding up with just over $72 million, some were questioning whether the well-muscled star could front his own film. He does great in ensembles - most notably the successful Fast and Furious films, but on solo missions he had yet to find a defining film. Well, fret no more, because San Andreas is that defining moment. With estimates going into the weekend running at around the $40 million range, San Andreas blew away predictions by opening to a nice $53.2 million. That is great news - and the film earned a nice "A-" Cinemeascore, meaning San Adreas will continue rocking well into the coming weeks. It earned 44% of its grosses from 3D and, even more impressive, out of the 60 international markets it opened in, it took the #1 spot in 55 of those markets to the tune of $60 million. It was also good news for director Brad Peyton, who teamed with Johnson on the Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, and proved he can helm a big-budget disaster flick with similar ease. Though we aren't going to be seeing any awards for San Andreas, this is exactly the kind of popcorn disaster movie that ushers in the summer. Expect this to hit $100 million and we'll see how far it can ride the wave from there.


Holding on to its second place spot - but still dipped over 53% in the process. The acapellicious women managed to bring in another $14.38 million and are knocking on the door of the $150 million milestone with a new total of $147.5 million. Expect it to cross the mark before next weekend. It continues to follow the same patter as the original film in the international market - lagging behind the domestic total with just $80.7 million. Still, this is the type of film that will do better on the homefront, and it should reach nearly $170 million by the time it ends its run.


The lackluster Memorial Day Weekend champ took a big hit of 58.2% and dropped to third with a $13.8 million haul. Though Brad Bird has plenty of great films under his belt, Tomorrowland just cannot find its footing. It has made just $63.1 million in the U.S. and its international grosses are at just $70 million with only a few large territories left. Even with the combined total of $133.2 million, its well short of its $190 million budget (not counting the excessive marketing effort). This is going to be a tough one to even break even, which has to be considered a disappointment given its stellar cast and pedigree.


Dipping a spot, Mad Max: Fury Road drove off with another $13.6 million and raised its total to $116 million. The film dropped just under 45% in its third weekend and continues to beat Pitch Perfect 2 on the international market with a hefty $165 million (total $280 million and counting). It may not quite be about to top its $150 million budget domestically, but with worldwide totals counted this continues to be a big win for director George Miller and we'll see how this franchise pans out in the near future.


Rounding out the top five in the same spot as last week was The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Down about 50% the well-oiled super hero machine added another $10.9 million to its total, which now stands at $427 million. Its looking like a pretty good bet that Age of Ultron will be able to top $450 million in the U.S. alone. It has broke nearly $900 million globally ($894.2 million to be exact) and can claim $1.32 billion total - still trailing Furious 7 (at $1.5 billion) but it should be able to close that gap. I don't think any other film this summer stands a chance at reaching these heights, but the fall/winter may bring a different story.

Outside the top five: Cameron Crowe's Aloha may have sported an impressive cast: Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone and Rachel McAdams among them, but that didn't translate to an impressive opening on the big screen. Aloha had to settle for sixth place with just $10 million. If the numbers hold it will at least be better than Crowe's We Bought a Zoo ($9.3 million) though that his a small consolation for those involved. Reviews were not kind, and neither was the buzz, but audiences were a bit kinder, awarding the film a decent "B+" Cinemascore. Even so, this is likely to fade fast and will be lucky to hit $25 million.

Poltergeist followed the trend of most horror film and took a massive nosedive in its second weekend. After opening in a so-so fourth place spot, Poltergeist plummeted 65.5% and down to 7th place with $7.8 million for a new total of $38.2 million. This one should continue to fall and a $50 million showing is likely all it will be good for.

Next week brings us two comedies and another summer horror film. We have Spy with Melissa McCarthy and Jude Law, the HBO series-turned-film Entourage (never got into it) and the third entry in the Insidious franchise (a prequel instead of sequel, though it's the third part). Spy has the best chance of unseating San Andreas - but its aftershocks may be too strong.


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