Box Office Wrap Up: 5/22/15 – 5/24/15
Tomorrowland edges out Pitch Perfect 2 for the top spot this Memorial Day weekend.
Disney’s Tomorrowland may be the box office champ this weekend, but it’s weak $32.2 million haul makes this a hollow victory for the mouse. With a reported $180 million budget (and another $100 million to marketing) Disney can’t help but be disappointed by the opening. They’ll need to hope that this film performs better internationally, with big markets such as Japan and China still to come. What’s surprising in all this is that Disney aggressively marketed this movie for two years, and even invited Mommy bloggers to a special screening to get the word out. To boot, Tomorrowland shared Memorial Day weekend with just the Poltergeist remake and a sea of sequels.
What went wrong?
Well for starters, Brad Bird felt strongly that the trailers should be ambiguous and keep people guessing as to what the film was about. Well, mission accomplished, Mr. Bird, as most folks were so confused they chose not to see the film. Mix in overwhelming amount of negative reviews and a public that lusts for a more dystopian look for their future fantasies ( a’la Mad Max,) Tomorrowland didn’t scream “must see”.
Speaking of Screaming, Pitch Perfect 2 narrowly missed the top spot with $30.3 and should hit close to $125 million after the four day weekend. With a budget roughly at $29 million we will probably have to endure a Pitch Perfect 3 in the future, yet we can’t get a Zombieland or Goonies sequel? Life is certainly not fair.
In the third spot we have Mad Max: Fury Road still coming in strong with $23.9 million, dropping only a very impressive 47% (Pitch 2 dropped 56%) and sped past the $200 million mark with a worldwide cume of $212 million.
The fourth spot belongs to Sam Raimi’s Poltergeist remake raking in an impressive $23 million despite negative reviews (receiving a 34% on Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer.)
Branding, folks, it works.
In all fairness to Sam Raimi and crew, what can you do with an iconic franchise such as Poltergeist? If you change too much fans will take up arms in forums and blogs. Stay too true to the original and you are labelled a retread. The latter (which Poltergeist seems to fall under) is more dangerous for horror films as predictability can be a killer. Poltergeist may fail critically because of the legacy, but thanks to its branding, executives will be screaming “we’re here” with Poltergeist‘s $35 million budget.
Lastly, Avengers: The Age Of Ultron passed the $400 million mark with a 20.9 million gross for fifth place, down an impressive 46% from the previous week.
1. Tomorrowland $32.2 million
2. Pitch Perfect 2 $30.3 million
3. Mad Max: Fury Road $23.9 million
4. Poltergeist $23 million
5. Avengers: Age of Ultron $20.9 million
6. Hot Pursuit $3.5 million
7. Far From the Madding Crowd $2.3 million
8. Furious 7 $2.1 million
9. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 $1.8 million
10. Home $1.7 million