‘San Andreas’ delivers powerful punch at the box office

31 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Box Office: ‘San Andreas’ Scores Seismic $53.2M Debut; ‘Aloha’ Bombs.

Dwayne Johnson’s “San Andreas” has delivered a dominating $53.2 million opening weekend at 3,777 U.S. locations, soaring past recent forecasts of a $40 million launch for the Warner Bros. LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson out-muscled the competition at domestic movie theaters as Warner Bros.’ earthquake epic “San Andreas” hauled in an estimated $53.2 million over the weekend.The earthquake movie starring Dwayne Johnson pulled in $53.2 million at theaters in the U.S and Canada, Rentrak Corp. said Sunday in an e-mailed statement.New Line and Warner Bros.’ San Andreas rocked the North American box office this weekend with a better-than-expected $53.2 million after earning an A- CinemaScore from audiences happy to be jolted again and again. (In real life, a powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake hundreds of miles off the coast of Japan Saturday evening was felt in much of the country.) The movie, which harkens back to the old Irwin Allen disaster flicks of the ’70s, easily claimed the top spot — as well as delivering Johnson his top domestic opening outside of the Fast and Furious franchise, and his highest ever for a title in which he is the solo lead.

-New Line 3D disaster pic. “San Andreas” took in more than five times as much as the $10 million opening of Sony’s romantic-comedy “Aloha,” which arrived at 2,815 sites amid extensive negative buzz — despite the star power of Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone and Rachel McAdams. “San Andreas” underlines Johnson’s drawing power in the wake of being a key component of Universal’s “Furious 7″ and its $1.5 billion worldwide gross. It easily beat the other new release of the week, the Sony Pictures romance “Aloha,” which opened in sixth place with sales of $10 million, and the returning films “Tomorrowland” and “Pitch Perfect 2.” Disaster pictures have been a popular genre for studios for generations, bolstered in recent years by special-effects technology. He’s been front and center in the promotion for “San Andreas” as a heroic helicopter pilot seeking to rescue his daughter, played by Alexandra Daddario, amid the rubble of a mega-quake. Universal’s “Pitch Perfect 2″ came in second with $14.8 million, Disney’s “Tomorrowland” was third with $13.8 million, Warner Bros.’ “Mad Max: Fury Road” came in fourth with $13.6 million and Disney’s Marvel superhero saga “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” which grossed $10.9 million, finished fifth.

Dwayne Johnson stars in the movie as a rescue pilot who springs into action when the San Andreas fault line ruptures and sets off cataclysmic natural disasters across the country. Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak, noted that “San Andreas” gained momentum throughout the weekend due to the film delivering what he called “pure popcorn movie excitement.” He added, “Johnson is clearly one of the most bankable stars working today. The disaster film teams Johnson with director Brad Peyton, who also guided the actor through 2012’s Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, and producer Beau Flynn, who produced both Journey 2 and Johnson’s 2014 Hercules. Village Roadshow Pictures co-financed and co-produced “San Andreas” with Warners for $110 million, with most of the film lensing in Australia to take advantage of government incentives. Opening-weekend audiences gave “San Andreas” a strong “A-“ grade, according to the market research firm CinemaScore. “Aloha” got a “B-.”

The Hawaii-set movie stars Cooper as a military contractor who falls for an Air Force pilot played by Stone, only to encounter a past lover in the form of McAdams. Produced by Crowe and Scott Rudin, Aloha — which at one point was penciled in for a December 2014 release but was then moved into 2015 — cost at least $37 million after rebates. It has already had to withstand critical comments from former Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chairman Amy Pascal, which were exposed in emails made public as part of the Sony hack.

Overseas, the box-office sensation took in another $10.4 million from 46 markets for an international cume of $80.7 million to jump the $200 million mark worldwide with $228.2 million through Sunday. Rounding out the top five in its fifth weekend was Disney and Marvel Studios’ blockbuster Avengers: Age of Ultron, which took in $10.9 million domestically and another $17.6 million internationally for a world total of $1.32 billion, including $225.5 million in China.

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