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Weekend Predictions: Will Tomorrow be a Better Day?

May 22nd, 2015


It's Memorial Day long weekend, which is one of the best weekends of the year at the box office. There are two new releases trying to take advantage of the holiday, Tomorrowland and Poltergeist. There are also three major holdovers that will remain potent over the weekend: Mad Max: Fury Road, Pitch Perfect 2, and The Avengers: Age of Ultron. There's a chance all five of these films will made $30 million or more over the next four days. Like we've seen most weeks this summer, this weekend last year had a much bigger hit on top. X-Men: Days of Future Past opened with more than $90 million, but only one other film, Godzilla earned more than $15 million over the three-day weekend. So again, 2015 won't match 2014 at the top, but the depth should help 2015 win in the year-over-year comparison.

Tomorrowland is the latest film from Brad Bird. He became famous for directing animated films, but his live-action debut, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, earned nearly $700 million worldwide. I would be shocked if Tomorrowland matched that. First of all, its reviews have fallen to barely more than 50% positive with even many of the positive reviews calling the film a mess. The buzz is also, well, weak. To put the buzz for this film into perspective, the biggest buzz surrounding this film is that Brad Bird is making a sequel to The Incredibles. The film should open in first place with just under $40 million over the three day weekend and $48 million over four. However, the margin of error is large enough that Pitch Perfect 2 might repeat on top.

Pitch Perfect 2 opened with nearly $70 million last weekend. Its reviews are good, but not great, which will neither help nor hurt the film's legs. It doesn't have any direct competition this weekend, which should help. On the high end, it could remain in first place, but I think a second place, four-day run of $45 million is more likely. At this pace, it will top the first film's worldwide total domestically over the weekend. This is also enough to very likely cover its entire production and advertising budget just on its domestic box office. That's something only about one in ten films manages to do.

I'm of two minds when it comes to Mad Max: Fury Road. On the one hand, its reviews are 98% positive, which should result in really strong legs. On the other hand, it is an action film based on a franchise and these films tend to not have great legs. The holidays should help the film and I'm going with $24 million / $32 million over the three-day / four-day weekend.

The Avengers: Age of Ultron will have a milestone weekend reaching $400 million over the next four days. Over the weekend, it will pull in $22 million / $29 million keeping it on pace to reach the top ten all time domestic hits.

The final new release of the week is Poltergeist. Its reviews started out horribly, in the 20% to 30% positive range. However, its Tomatometer Score has since improved to 47% positive, which is neither good nor bad. As for its box office chances, it could earn second place with close to $40 million over four days. It could also only manage fifth place with barely more than $20 million, also over four days. I'm more pessimistic than most, but the horror remake sub-genre has done poorly over the past decade or so, so I'm going with fifth place with $22 million / $28 million over the weekend. That's still good for a film like this, but not great.


Filed under: Weekend Preview, Poltergeist, Mad Max: Fury Road, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Tomorrowland, Pitch Perfect 2, Mad Max, Brad Bird