Weekend Box Office (May 22 - 25, 2015)

by Gitesh Pandya

THIS WEEKEND An adventure film and a spooky reboot are on the menu of new releases being served up for North American audiences over the long and lucrative Memorial Day holiday frame. Plus three franchise holdovers will continue to cash in on the May box office giving movie fans a wide variety of choices for their leisure time.

George Clooney headlines the new sci-fi action adventure film Tomorrowland from Disney which is aiming to draw in a broad audience. The PG-rated film from Brad Bird has a chance to pull in Clooney fans, Disney lovers, families including tweens, and action auds. And despite using the name of a famous part of Disney World, the film is a new property so a built-in audience cannot be expected automatically. Reviews have been mixed so there is no high level of urgency.

Though a high-profile film, Tomorrowland lacks the excitement and magnitude of many of the top action films slotted on this holiday frame in recent years. The last two years saw X-Men and Fast & Furious sequels open to over $110M each over four days. There will be plenty of competition from holdovers so the pie will get split. Ticket buyers in the mood for more hard-core action will opt for Mad Max or Avengers instead but the assortment of choices should help expand the marketplace over the long weekend. Opening in 3,972 locations, Tomorrowland may take in around $45M across the Friday-to-Monday period.

A classic fright film from yesterday gets a makeover with Poltergeist which looks to connect with the horror crowd. The PG-13 film will have a tough time winning over older audiences who remember (fondly) the original as there is little demand from them for a new film like this. But teens and young adults are the target here and may provide some spending power. The retro chic title of the MGM production should win over points with them.

Reviews have been tough, but that is to be expected in the world of scary movie remakes. Historically May, and early summer in general, is a difficult time for fright flicks as many are in the mood for more cheery fare at this time of year. Then again, direct competition is light so it may play as effective counter-programming. Opening in over 3,200 locations, Poltergeist might collect about $22M over four days.

The singing gals of Pitch Perfect 2 ruled the box office last weekend and have a shot at staying on top again. Good buzz and a long weekend will help, though comedy sequels do tend to draw their fans upfront. The four-day holiday gross may fall 35% from the three-day debut to about $45M which would make the cume soar to $132M for Universal doubling what the first film made back in 2012.

Mad Max: Fury Road has been sparking sensational word of mouth and the long weekend may just be a time for more people to go out and see it after hearing so many good things from friends. A 25% slide would put Warner Bros. at around $34M over four days and boost the total to $97M.

Disney will crack the quadruple-century mark with Avengers: Age of Ultron this weekend. A 30% decline would leave the super heroes with about $27M over the long weekend and $410M domestically with plenty more coming in from overseas markets. Global will surpass $1.25 billion.

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For a NEW review of Tomorrowland visit The Chief Report.

LAST YEAR Fox led a busy Memorial Day weekend with its comic smash X-Men: Days of Future Past opening on top with $110.6M over four days. The super hero flick went on to capture $233.9M in North America and $748M worldwide. Godzilla dropped hard tumbling to $38.4M for second place while Warner Bros. studio stablemate Blended flopped for Adam Sandler with a puny $17.7M over the long weekend. It finished at just $46.3M. Rounding out the top five were Neighbors with $17.1M and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 with $10M.


Last Updated: May 21, 2015 at 3:35PM ET

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