Proving once again how Dwayne Johnson may be as big a draw as any star today (and trumping the usually reliable Bradley Cooper in the process), “San Andreas” (Warner Bros.) shook up a better than expected $18,215,000 to dominate Friday ticket buying.
This week’s chapter of Hollywood’s 2015 saga continues the trend so far: a stronger opener, but nagging residual weakness. The bulk of the expected smashes lie ahead — “Spy,” “Jurassic World” and “Inside Out” in the next few weeks — but once again, this weekend looks to be significantly below the same one last year. Yesterday’s Top Ten totaled $40 million — last year (when “Maleficent” debuted) came to $51 million. Still, “San Andreas” grossed more than the next five films combined.
“Aloha” (Sony) starring Cooper and directed by the once reliable Cameron Crowe (“Jerry Maguire,” “Almost Famous”) the other new wide opener, came in fifth for the day at $3.6 million with limited prospects ahead. To put this in perspective, the second opener a year ago — “A Million Ways to Die in the West” — grossed over $6 million its first day (and was considered a disappointment).
Three holdovers outpaced “Aloha.” “Pitch Perfect 2” (Universal) looks to hold second place for the weekend, with $4.6 million. In third Friday at $3.9 million, “Mad Max – Fury Road” (Warner Bros.) held even better. Any chance that “Tomorrowland” (Buena Vista) might rebound was dashed by its $3.8 take, down from $9.7 last Friday.
“Avengers: Age of Ultron” (Buena Vista) came in sixth for the day with a bit under $2.9 million. “Poltergeist” (20th Century Fox) fell even more than “Tomorrowland,” yielding only $2.6 million ($9.3 last Friday).
The remaining three spots all grossed far less. “Far from the Madding Crowd” (Fox Searchlight) was eighth at $400,000, “Hot Pursuit” (Warner Bros.) $390,000 in ninth, and “Furious 7” (Universal) tenth with $274,000.