Weekend Wrap-Up

The Rock Shakes Up Box Office with San Andreas

By John Hamann

May 31, 2015

So long, San Francisco.

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Fourth goes to Mad Max: Fury Road, which continues its effective run. After a $24.6 million Memorial Day frame, the George Miller action epic was able to keep its drop below 50% in its third weekend and keeps its strong run going. This weekend, Max earned $3.9 million on Friday, off only 42% from the previous Friday, setting it up for another good weekend. It was able to turn that Friday into a weekend gross of $13.6 million, giving it a drop of only 45% compared to the previous frame. The $150 million masterpiece was the number one film on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week, and crossed the $100 million mark on Wednesday, its 13th day of release – one day faster than last November’s Interstellar, which finished with $188 million. Mad Max: Fury Road has earned $115 million domestically, and another $133 million from overseas venues. I see Max picking up $150 million domestically, but it will need a lot more from foreign theaters if it has any hopes of finishing in a profitable position.

Avengers: Age of Ultron is fifth again this weekend as it continues its successful run. The Marvel property earned another $10.9 million, off 50% compared to last weekend, as San Andreas likely cut into its audience. Age of Ultron is now pacing about 50% behind the original Avengers on a weekend-to-weekend basis, but it is staying ahead of where Iron Man 3 was at this point in its run. Ultron has now amassed $427.1 million domestically, and has $894 million from overseas theaters.

That puts the open of new release Aloha down in sixth, which is a disappointment for Sony and should be a disappointment for all of us, as the great Cameron Crowe serves up another questionable feature. After disappointing with Elizabethtown and We Bought a Zoo, I had high hopes for Crowe’s Aloha, given the cast that includes Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams and Bill Murray. While maybe not a great film, the box office result for a Cameron Crowe film is similar to that of previous efforts. Aloha earned $10 million over its opening frame, in line with We Bought a Zoo’s $9.8 million opening frame (which included Christmas Day on its first Sunday) and Elizabethtown’s $10.6 million. Aloha cost $37 million to make and will be lucky to earn $30 million of that back domestically.

Poltergeist got hammered in its second weekend, following its decent $22.6 million opening over the Memorial Day frame. Its second Friday dropped a disastrous 73%, a drop higher than the worst case scenario. It didn’t recover enough over the rest of the weekend, earning only $7.8 million and falling 66%. The Fox remake cost $35 million to make – for the studio, blissfully low – as it has already matched that amount domestically at $38.3 million. It shouldn’t have to do much overseas to get this one into the win column.


Eighth is Far From the Madding Crowd, which surprised last weekend with an 83% uptick over the previous frame thanks to a significant increase in screens. This weekend, Fox Searchlight added a handful more, and the arthouse release earned $1.4 million, giving it a drop of 38%. This small release has now earned $8.4 million stateside, and has pulled in a similar amount overseas.

Ninth is Hot Pursuit, which has only stayed in the top ten this long due to a lack of new releases. This weekend it earned $1.4 million, fell 62%, and now has a cume of $32.4 million. Tenth is Home, from DreamWorks Animation. Home earned another $1.2 million and declined 34%. It has earned $170.4 million domestically, and $350 million worldwide, which isn’t enough for a film with a $135 million budget.

Overall, the box office continues to struggle versus last year, but I maintain that good news is just around the corner. The top 12 this weekend earned $129.9 million, well off of the $160 million earned last year with Maleficent on top, and the $160.8 million earned the year previous when Fast & Furious remained number one. Next weekend brings more fresh meat to summer cinemas, and titles include Insidious Chapter 3, Entourage, and Melissa McCarthy’s Spy. If McCarthy can get Spy to $40 million, and the horror flick opens where the last one did, the three openers could combine for $100 million plus. Check back next weekend to see how it all rolls out.

Top Weekend Box Office for 5/29/15-5/31/15 (Estimates)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 San Andreas WARNER BROS. $53,215,000 New $53,215,000
2 Pitch Perfect 2 Universal $14,841,300 - 52% $147,540,020
3 Tomorrowland Disney $13,803,000 - 58% $63,188,000
4 Mad Max: Fury Road $13,625,000 - 45% $115,915,000
5 Avengers: Age of Ultron Disney $10,920,000 - 50% $427,070,000
6 Aloha Sony $10,000,000 New $10,000,000
7 Poltergeist MGM $7,800,000 - 66% $38,266,000
8 Far From the Madding Crowd FOX SEARCHLIGHT $1,420,000 - 38% $8,362,000
9 Hot Pursuit WARNER BROS. $1,370,000 - 62% $32,351,000
10 Home $1,150,000 - 34% $170,408,000
11 Furious 7 Universal $987,075 - 57% $349,231,025
12 Ex Machina New Line Cinema $767,713 - 45% $23,587,042
  Also Opening/Notables
  Heaven Knows What Radius/TWC $15,032 New $15,032
  Tanu Weds Manu Returns Eros $750,000 - 25% $2,280,000
  When Marnie Was There Gkids $33,020 + 21% $77,281
  I'll See You In My Dreams Bleecker Street $516,161 + 79% $1,045,889
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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