Friday Box Office: SAN ANDREAS Opens in First; ALOHA Gets Buried

     May 30, 2015

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Two new wide releases hit theatres on Friday, though only one made a noticeable impact. That would be Warner Bros.’ San Andreas, which easily took first place on Friday with an estimated $18.2 million. That’s a bit higher than expected and puts the PG-13 disaster movie on track for at least $47 million through Sunday.

There have certainly been bigger openings in the disaster genre. On this same weekend in 2004, Roland Emmerich’s The Day After Tomorrow claimed $68.7 million and, in November 2009, Sony’s 2012 opened with $65.2 million. Even so, the genre has not been a safe box office bet in recent years. Where films with a little something extra (Godzilla, say, or zombies in World War Z) have opened well, straight-up disaster movies like last summer’s Into the Storm have struggled in theatrical release.

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Image via Columbia Pictures

Should San Andreas prove a commercial success, much of the credit will go to Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. Still riding high on the strength of Furious 7, the star has been tirelessly promoting San Andreas all around the world. That hard work is expected to give The Rock the biggest opening of his career – outside of the last three Fast and Furious films. Before adjusting for inflation, the $40 million debut of G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013) and $36 million for The Scorpion King (2002) were Johnson’s high water marks.

Attempting to counter-program the thrills of San Andreas, Sony launched the romantic dramedy Aloha in 2,815 locations this weekend. Directed by Cameron Crowe (Jerry Maguire) and starring Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, and a bevy of other big names, Aloha is looking  like a box office disaster of a different kind. The film is being savaged by critics (18% on Rotten Tomatoes), though a B+ from CinemaScore audiences was a bit more encouraging. Based on Friday’s estimate, Aloha is headed for a debut of just over $10 million. That’s actually in-line with most pre-release projections, though for a summer release it is awfully low.


Here’s a look at Friday’s top five. Check back tomorrow for complete details and this weekend’s top ten:

 Title Friday Total
1.  San Andreas $18,215,000 $18.2
2.  Pitch Perfect 2 $4,600,000 $137.3
3.  Mad Max: Fury Road $3,865,000 $106.1
4.  Tomorrowland $3,780,000 $53.1
5.  Aloha $3,600,000 $3.6

 

 


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