Weekend Box Office Report: ‘Tomorrowland’ and ‘Poltergeist’ Struggle Against the Mighty ‘Pitch Perfect 2’
Tomorrowland may have taken the top spot at the box office in its debut weekend, but things still look awfully grim for the George Clooney sci-fi vehicle. Not only did the film open far below expectations, it faced serious competition in Pitch Perfect 2, which continued to kick aca-butt in its second weekend. And it wasn’t the only new release to under-perform, with the Poltergeist remake also falling short of early predictions. If you were a new release this weekend, things were awfully rough.
|2||Pitch Perfect 2||$30,300,000 (-56%)||$8,511||$117,786,000|
|3||Mad Max: Fury Road||$23,885,000 (-47%)||$6,417||$87,315,000|
|5||Avengers: Age of Ultron||$20,895,000 (-46%)||$5,606||$392,925,000|
|6||Hot Pursuit||$3,475,000 (-39%)||$1,348||$28,920,000|
|7||Far From the Madding Crowd||$2,280,000 (+82%)||$2,636||$5,442,000|
|8||Furious 7||$2,100,000 (-42%)||$1,270||$346,989,000|
|9||Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2||$1,755,000 (-50%)||$935||$65,572,000|
With a weekend haul of $32 million, Tomorrowland is already looking like this year’s John Carter: a strange, expensive science fiction movie that was supposed to kickstart a franchise but won’t because Disney had no earthly idea how to sell it. There’s always the chance that international grosses could prop the film up and prevent it from looking like a total disaster, but the domestic grosses aren’t going to be pretty. Mixed reviews and so-so word of mouth are going to keep it from finding a second wind, and whatever audience it has left is going to get obliterated when Jurassic World arrives in two weeks. If Tomorrowland hits $100 million, it will be a huge victory under these circumstances — and it still won’t be in the black.
Meanwhile, Poltergeist opened in fourth place with $23 million, which is kind of, sort of okay until you remember that horror movies almost always take a massive dive in their second weekend. The first weekend of release for most horror movies represents the vast majority of what the film will ultimately make, and since Poltergiest has the name recognition of a bonafide classic, it should have opened much bigger than this. Still, there’s not a lot of horror floating around this time of the year and the film could hang on and appeal directly to its starved audience. Who knows? The second weekend percentage drop is going to tell the whole story here.
And that brings us to the real winners of the weekend: Pitch Perfect 2 and Mad Max: Fury Road, which performed admirably in their second weekends. Although both took expectedly steep drops, both did solid business, with the former skating past the $100 million mark and the latter positioning itself to cross that milestone next weekend. Pitch Perfect 2 is an enormous hit, a genuine smash, and Mad Max is going to be a solid hit when all is said and done. Like everything else, they’re going to face huge competition in the coming months, but both films have specific enough goals and executions that they should be able to weather the upcoming Jurassic storm.
Of course, the top five was rounded out by Avengers: Age of Ultron, which grossed another $20 million and now sits within spitting distance of $400 million. By this point, it’s obvious that the sequel won’t match the heights of the original, but it should make it to about $450 million or so before it gives up, which should still firmly place it in the top 10 highest grossing films of all time at the domestic box office. With a little gumption, it should surpass the first Avengers at the international box office, which is what Disney really care about.
The bottom five are a little less exiting, with the only noteworthy numbers belonging to Far From the Madding Crowd, which continued to perform well in limited release. But everything else, from hits like Furious 7 to shrugs like Hot Pursuit, are only here because not enough new films have arrived to shove them off the list. They’ll all be gone very soon.