Welcome to the Screen Rant Box Office Prediction. Every week we put together an informal list of box office picks for the upcoming weekend - to offer readers a rough estimate of how new releases (and returning holdovers) will perform in theaters.
For a recap of last week's box office totals, read our box office wrap-up from Tomorrowland's opening weekend - and scroll to the bottom of this post to see how our previous picks measured up.
Full disclosure: Box office predictions are not an exact science. We acknowledge our picks may not always be correct. For the sake of offering a jumping off point for discussion, here are our picks for the weekend of May 29 - 31, 2015.
This weekend, disaster film San Andreas and romantic comedy Aloha both open nationwide in an unspecified number of theaters.
#1 - San Andreas
In what should be another slow weekend at the box office, we're picking the new natural disaster film San Andreas to come in the top spot. The film stars the charismatic Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who was just in one of this year's biggest hits, Furious 7. Of course, in that movie, he was part of a larger ensemble, whereas here he's the solo headliner. And in those cases, Johnson is somewhat surprisingly not a reliable draw. His previous vehicles include the likes of Hercules ($72.6 million) and Snitch ($42.9 million), which weren't exactly the smashes you'd typically associate with someone of The Rock's caliber. People love him, but that doesn't always extend to his movies.
San Andreas is shaping up to have a similarly mediocre performance. Early tracking currently has it projected for a $33 million opening weekend, which is very low for a big film like this (especially one that's playing in 3D). The marketing presence has been strong, so awareness shouldn't be an issue. It's all a matter of audience interest at this point. And while it should do solid business, there doesn't seem to be enough of that to make San Andreas a crossover hit. Apparently, audiences are content waiting for Shazam to give Johnson a bona fide hit.
#2 - Pitch Perfect 2
Our pick for second is Pitch Perfect 2 (read our review), which came in this spot last week with $30.8 million. The sequel saw a considerable drop-off from its stunning first three days, but the fan base for the franchise is still strong and passionate enough for the movie to have another lucrative weekend at the box office. Given that there's hardly anything else appealing to Pitch Perfect's target demographic, the odds are it will reel in a crowd again.
#3 - Mad Max: Fury Road
Coming in third should be Mad Max: Fury Road (read our review), which has emerged as one of the summer's strongest holds and only saw a 45.4 percent drop from its opening numbers. The film has achieved the status of "must see in theaters" thanks to its universally positive word-of-mouth and jaw-dropping visuals showcased in the marketing campaign. Even with San Andreas coming out to take some action fans away, Mad Max should still be a solid player, considering that there are some curious to see what the hype is about (and others eager to see it on a big screen again).
#4 - Aloha
Once again, we're not expecting the "challenger" in our headline to put up much of a fight, as we believe Aloha will come in fourth during its opening weekend. The romantic comedy is the latest film from Cameron Crowe, who has largely been inconsistent commercially since Jerry Maguire ($153.9 million) hit it big in 1996. Crowe's last film, We Bought a Zoo, had a respectable showing of $75.6 million, but he's also released duds like Elizabethtown ($26.8 million) since the turn of the century. Even when his films are critically acclaimed, like Almost Famous, they don't always break through.
Fortunately for the director, his Aloha leading man is none other than Bradley Cooper, who is coming off of 2014's biggest box office hit, American Sniper. So if Crowe is going to have a big comeback, this may be is best chance. However, this film is not expected to be his next big hit. Projected for a debut at just $16 million, it seems like a limited advertising campaign is going to overshadow a charming A-list cast and cause the movie to slide under some radars. It may become a counter-programming option for older moviegoers looking for a break from genre pictures, but the chances of it becoming a crossover hit are low.
#5 - Tomorrowland
Rounding out the top five should be Tomorrowland (read our review), which had a soft $32.9 million opening weekend. Despite having Brad Bird and George Clooney, the film isn't drawing in audiences; and due to the mixed response from critics, it doesn't have much of a chance to rebound and hold well. This one is going to fall down the charts.
Last Week's Recap
It was a very solid week for our predictions. If we had only swapped around Mad Max and Pitch Perfect 2, we would have had a perfect score.
Next Week: Spy, Entourage and more!