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Weekend Predictions: Will May End on a Disastrous Note?

May 28th, 2015

San Andreas

The weekend after a holiday is usually a bad weekend at the box office. This time around, San Andreas is the clear front-runner while Aloha might struggle, even as counter-programming. San Andreas will earn more than $30 million over the weekend, no other film is on track to hitting $20 million. On the other hand, there could be six other films that earn $10 million or more over the weekend. By comparison, this weekend last year, Maleficent opened with nearly $70 million, while X-Men: Days of Future Past earned more than $30 million. There's no way the top of the chart will match that. Even with better depth, it is very unlikely 2015 will win in the year-over-year comparison.

San Andreas is a disaster flick starring Dwayne Johnson. The actor is coming off the biggest hit of his career and that can't hurt this film's box office chances. It probably won't be a huge help either, as actors from franchise rarely get huge boosts in non-franchise films. Its reviews are just over 50% positive, which is actually better than expected. Tracking has the film earning between $30 million and $40 million. The low end is probably a little more likely, so I'm going with $33 million.

Tomorrowland missed expectations last weekend and it is expected to drop relatively sharply this weekend. A 50% drop-off would leave the film with $16.5 million during this weekend. Its reviews are nearly identical to San Andreas' reviews and I think there's enough of a cross over audience that falling just over 50% to $16 million is likely.

There should be a close race for third place between Pitch Perfect 2 and Mad Max: Fury Road. Pitch Perfect 2 has already made enough to break even, so anything it makes this weekend is gravy. $14 million over the weekend would push its running tally to $147 million.

Mad Max: Fury Road reached $100 million on Wednesday and should earn another $14 million over the weekend. Granted, it cost $150 million to make, so it still needs help internationally to break even, but its domestic run has been solid so far.

The Avengers: Age of Ultron should round out the top five with $11 million over the weekend for a total of $427 million after a month of release. This would be enough to overtake Catching Fire for tenth place on the all time domestic chart.

Aloha is the latest film from Cameron Crowe. Sadly, according to its reviews, it is also his worst film to date. The writer / director hasn't released a film that has earned overwhelming positive reviews since Almost Famous, which is 15 years ago. Additionally, he hasn't had a film top $100 million at the box office since Vanilla Sky, which is almost as old. There is a chance this film will fight for third place with about $14 million. But there's also a chance it will fail to reach $10 million. I'm not that pessimistic, but I do believe the lower end is more likely. I'm going with sixth place and just under $11 million.

Poltergeist is the final film with a shot at $10 million. I don't think it will quite get there, but it will be close. This will give the film a two-week total of just over $40 million, which is more than it cost to make. It if can get to $100 million worldwide, then it will break even early in its home market run.


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Filed under: Weekend Preview, Poltergeist, Mad Max: Fury Road, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Tomorrowland, Furious 7, San Andreas, Pitch Perfect 2, Aloha, Fast and the Furious, Cameron Crowe, Dwayne Johnson