Box office: ‘Tomorrowland’ takes holiday weekend lead over ‘Pitch Perfect 2’

25 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Box Office: ‘Tomorrowland’ Narrowly Beats ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ in Disappointing Debut.

Disney’s “Tomorrowland” is leading a slower-than-expected Memorial Day weekend at the box office with a studio-estimated $40.7 million four-day haul projected for the U.S. and Canada, lower than initial estimates that went as high as $50 million.Disney’s sci fi-adventure film Tomorrowland opened to an estimated three-day total of $32.2 million, and estimates have it on track to bring in about $41 million through tomorrow.

LOS ANGELES — Disney’s big-budget “Tomorrowland” was a relative bust at the domestic box office over the holiday weekend, a result that will likely make Hollywood even more reluctant to invest in original stories. Three-day total ticket sales were about $151 million, a decline from a year earlier when they tallied $186.7 million and much less than 2013’s “Fast & Furious 6”-fueled record take of $254.6 million, said researcher Rentrak Corp. The film’s Friday-Sunday gross was estimated at $32.2 million, giving it a narrow lead over “Pitch Perfect 2.” That Universal Pictures film, now in its second weekend, was tracking at $30.3 million through Sunday.

The musical comedy about an all-female a cappella group is coming off a mighty debut weekend in which it grossed $69.2 million, besting the entire $65-million domestic theatrical run of the original “Pitch Perfect.” The sequel crossed the $100-million threshold this weekend and was on target for a four-day total of $37.9 million. Tomorrowland came in behind expectations in North America, and will need to overcome its so-so B CinemaScore and enjoy strong word of mouth in order to end up in the black, considering the live-action fantasy adventure cost $180 million to produce. The only other new wide-release movie was a remake of “Poltergeist” (20th Century Fox), which analysts said on Sunday would take in about $27.7 million, a solid result for a PG-13-rated horror film that cost Fox and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer a modest $35 million to make. “Tomorrowland” was the No. 1 movie, but it only narrowly beat a holdover: “Pitch Perfect 2” (Universal Pictures) will sell an estimated $37.9 million in tickets over the four-day period, for a two-week domestic total of $125.4 million.

The film has grossed an additional $61.7 million in foreign markets. “Tomorrowland,” which stars George Clooney and relative newcomer Britt Robertson, opened in nearly 4,000 theaters. Filmgoers have graded the film a B, according to audience polling service CinemaScore, while reviews have been decidedly mixed; the movie received a 50% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes. In “Tomorrowland,” Clooney plays a former boy genius Frank Walker, who has become jaded and disillusioned until he meets Casey Newton, played by Britt Robertson. Inspired by the themed land inside Disney’s theme parks, as well as Walt Disney’s promising vision of a technologically enhanced future, “Tomorrowland” had been cloaked in secrecy prior to its release. Disney hopes that a shortage of family-friendly movies in the weeks ahead will allow “Tomorrowland” to find a bigger audience in the United States and Canada.

Newton, the daughter of a NASA engineer who is about to be fired now that the space program has been all but shut down, teams up with Walker to unearth the secrets of “Tomorrowland” Two-time Oscar winner Brad Bird, writer and director of “The Incredibles” and “Ratatouille,” co-wrote and directed the movie. “Lost” co-creator Damon Lindelof co-wrote the screenplay with Bird. “‘Tomorrowland’ has a tendency to feel out of control, a film that is finally more ambitious than accomplished,” Kenneth Turan wrote in the Los Angeles Times. The movie divided critics; ticket buyers gave it a B grade in CinemaScore exit polls. “It is what it is, but we’re not too disappointed just yet,” Dave Hollis, Disney’s executive vice president for theatrical distribution, said in a telephone interview on Sunday morning. “In a summer of sequels, we hold out a lot of hope that wildly underserved families will find ‘Tomorrowland’ and enjoy its originality.” Even so, there is no question that “Tomorrowland” is a major misfire for Disney’s live-action movie division, which, with films like “Maleficent” and “Cinderella,” had finally managed to move beyond flops like “The Lone Ranger.” Lackluster “Tomorrowland” ticket sales came despite an aggressive two-year marketing campaign that included a Super Bowl commercial, trailers on “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” and exhibitions at Disney theme parks.

Overseas, the sequel earned another $15.2 million from 37 markets for a dazzling foreign total of $61.7 million and worldwide haul of $187 million through Monday (that includes just north of $125 million in North America). Age of Ultron has now grossed $860 million internationally, including $210 million in China, for a global haul of $1.263 billion, the seventh-bet showing of all time and passing up Iron Man 3 this weekend. After Tomorrowland, the other new Memorial Day offering is MGM and Fox 2000’s Poltergeist, which posted a three-day gross of $23 million for an estimated $27.7 million four-day opening, putting it at No. 4, just behind holdover Mad Max: Fury Road. Movies that try to take audiences to multiple worlds at once — “Green Lantern,” “Jupiter Ascending,” “Tron: Legacy” — are difficult to market. But it was George Miller’s holdover Fury Road that topped the international box office overall with $38.2 million from 70 markets, pushing the movie’s global total to north of $212 million for Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures.

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