In a slow Memorial Day weekend at the box office, audiences wanted to go to Tomorrowland, but not too many.
Winning the weekend is Brad Bird's latest, Tomorrowland (read our review), which made $32.9 million over its first three days (estimated at $41.7 through the holiday weekend). That's considerably below the expectations analysts had for the film going into Friday, a testament to just how damaging mediocre word-of-mouth can be for a project. Despite having high-profile talent like director Bird and star George Clooney as selling tools, Disney could not parlay this theme park film into a box office juggernaut a la Pirates of the Caribbean. Some of that may be due to the marketing, which was at times so vague casual moviegoers were unsure what the movie was about (which, combined with the reviews, was a deadly combination).
The lackluster opening is hurtful because it's unlikely Tomorrowland can turn things around and become a commercial success. Over the next few weeks, the multiplex will become even more crowded with several other highly-anticipated blockbusters, so Bird's film will unfortunately become a distant memory in a relatively short period of time. Not only was it a domestic disappointment, Tomorrowland struggled to draw in large crowds in the international markets (though it hasn't opened in all territories yet), which is usually a safe haven for genre pictures like this. Time will tell if this will actually end up being a money loser for the Mouse House, but things certainly don't look good right now.
Coming in #2 is last week's champion, Pitch Perfect 2, which made $30.8 million in is second weekend. As expected, the musical/comedy sequel saw a significant drop-off after its jaw-dropping debut, as its intake fell 55.5 percent. Still, Universal has to be pleased with its $117.3 million domestic total, which surpasses the original's worldwide gross for its entire theatrical run in 2012.
Finishing in #3 and holding well is Mad Max: Fury Road. George Miller's post-apocalyptic action flick brought in $24.8 million during its second weekend, which is just a 45.5 percent decrease from its debut. When the Monday figures are taken into account, the movie has made $95.5 million Stateside, and a very impressive $219.8 million worldwide. The combination of universal praise from both critic circles and moviegoers have definitely amped up the appeal for what some may have thought was a niche project going into the summer, and Mad Max should continue to have a lovely, lovely run at the box office thanks to the positive response.
Opening at #4 is the horror remake Poltergeist (read our review), which made $22.6 million during its first three days ($25.5 million when Monday numbers are added). The film more or less performed according to expectations. Even so, Fox can't exactly be thrilled with this debut (since horror movies typically have strong showings opening weekend). The reviews didn't do it any favors, and audiences were largely uninterested, as there were several other, better-received options to choose from. We wouldn't expect Poltergeist to hang around for much longer.
Rounding out the top five is Avengers: Age of Ultron with $21.6 million. Marvel's latest blockbuster has grossed $410.9 million so far in its run and has jumped past Furious 7 to become 2015's top domestic earner so far.
Coming in #6 is The Age of Adaline, which made $15 million this weekend. The film is now at $40.3 million domestically.
The #7 film this weekend is Hot Pursuit, grossing $3.6 million in its third weekend. The "comedy" has made $30 million Stateside and still hasn't made back its production costs when global numbers are taken into account, meaning this might never get out of the red.
Furious 7 is #8 with $2.3 million. The action sequel has made $347.6 million in the U.S. and is inching closer to passing the first Avengers film on the all-time worldwide charts with $1.5 billion.
In at #9 is Far From the Maddening Crowd, which made $2.2 million this week. It has so far made about $6 million during its domestic run.
Finishing off the top ten is Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 with $1.8 million. The Kevin James vehicle is now at $66.3 million in the States
[NOTE: These are only weekend box office estimates - based on Friday and Saturday ticket sales coupled with adjusted expectations for Sunday. Official weekend box office results will be released on Tuesday, May 26 - at which time we'll update this post with any changes.]
Source: Box Office Mojo