San Andreas is no busta, Aloha says Aloha to any semblance of money, Results can barely do one measly pull-up, I can’t even make up a terrible pun for Heaven Knows What cos it looks too miserable, and Other Box Office News.
by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)
Prior to this weekend, it seemed very much like the box office was going to be extremely quiet until the release of Jurassic World in a fortnight. After all, we all knew that Tomorrowland was going to bomb, Spy will do well but isn’t exactly going to light anything on fire, I know of only one human being who is (self-loathingly) excited for the Entourage movie and he works for this very website, and I know of no human beings who are clamouring for another frickin’ Insidious movie. Post-Pitch Perfect and post-Mad Max, we basically entered a quiet period where little of interest was coming out and nothing was going to do particularly well or make for exciting headlines.
It turns out, however, that we all forgot one very important thing: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. So although San Andreas on paper looked to be a middling underperformer that would be collectively skipped because, goddamn, did this movie ever look (and was) excruciatingly boring, in practice the film stormed its way to number 1 with $53 million in ticket sales. There’s also the fact that it’s an expensive-looking disaster movie released on a weekend where there was almost literally nothing else of note coming out against it, but I think we all know that this is entirely down to Dwayne Johnson. I mean, the guy is just the best, isn’t he? He’s the best. I want him as my dad!
The “of note” was added onto that prior paragraph because San Andreas was not the only wide release of this past weekend. That other one would be Aloha, the first film in almost four years from writer-director Cameron Crowe. In case you hadn’t heard, the film is apparently utter garbage that even Sony heads hated which, combined with the fact that Cameron Crowe has only ever really broken out of being a cult filmmaker maybe twice (thrice if you want to count We Bought A Zoo) in his entire 25 year career, basically sealed its fate even with Bradley Cooper in the lead role. It’s kind of a bomb, opening in sixth place with an estimated $10 million – that, for those of you playing along at home, is behind the third weeks of Pitch Perfect 2 and Mad Max: Fury Road, the second week of Tomorrowland, and the fifth week of Avengers.
In the land of limited releases, Mumblecore architect Andrew Bujalski took a tentative step towards making a mainstream movie with the Guy Pearce, Cobie Smulders, and Kevin Corrigan-starring rom-com-ish (I haven’t seen it yet so I don’t know how much it sticks to and how much it subverts formula) Results. The public responded somewhat warmly, with the film finishing up the weekend with $13,000 from 3 screens, which isn’t too bad considering that it’s been on VOD since March 13th. Meanwhile, pure-unfiltered-misery in the shape of Heaven Knows What – here’s the trailer which, even with the obnoxious and ill-fitting Harmony Korine-style editing and soundtrack, gives as good an idea as any as to how miserable that film is going to make me – got off to a very good start with $15,000 from 2 screens. I realise that doesn’t seem like much, but this is a movie about homeless heroin addicts that looks BLEAK AS F*CK. So, yeah, I’m gonna chalk that up as a win.
All this Full List had to do was FOLLOW THE DAMN TRAIN!
Box Office Results: Friday 29th May 2015 – Sunday 31st May 2015
1] San Andreas
$53,215,000 / NEW
Saw this on Saturday and I mostly agree with Steve, it’s not very good. I think the cast really try and there are a few sequences that are pretty good, but mostly I just found this incredibly, mind-numbingly boring. Oh, and loud. Very, very loud. It has got some fine Paul Giamatti overacting, though, so that’s worth something.
Also, yes, I do find the irony in the fact that Tomorrowland, a film that sermonises about our obsession with turning death and planetary destruction and disaster into harmless entertainment, was unceremoniously dumped from number one by a film that is exactly what the former spends 130 minutes railing against.
2] Pitch Perfect 2
$14,381,000 / $147,540,000
This has a surprisingly strong chance of surpassing Fifty Shades of Grey’s closing total of $166 million. It’s barely $20 million away from it, already, and with its strong mid-week grosses it could hold onto that trajectory even when Spy drops next week. Yay to all of this! And, yes, I still do really like this movie and believe it to be better than the first. Accept that I’m not budging, and let’s close the book on this issue.
$13,803,000 / $63,188,000
Yeah… this… this isn’t making its money back. Not even close. I really hope that the lesson Hollywood takes away from the failures of this and Jupiter Ascending is not that the public doesn’t want expensive original blockbusters. It’s that we want good expensive original blockbusters. Actually, that doesn’t quite work since Jupiter Ascending is a good expensive original blockbuster, but the sentiment is still the same.
4] Mad Max: Fury Road
$13,625,000 / $115,915,000
You know what? I think I’m going to go and see this again this week. You should too. I don’t care if you’ve already seen it 5 times in 3 weeks, that’s still not enough times to fully appreciate this magnificent specimen of a film and you damn well know it!
5] The Avengers: Age of Ultron
$10,920,000 / $427,070,000
Gee, Box Office Mojo! It sure would be great if I could find out how Age of Ultron is doing in China, the one market that actually matters for this movie, on a week-to-week basis! But not knowing anything because you have decided to skip on the details of your detail-oriented website and dropped so hard in overall quality since Ray Subers left is fine too! Really! I love having to put in an unnecessarily large amount of work for what should instead be a fun little 75 minute writing exercise each week! I’m not irritated at all!
$10,000,000 / NEW
Bummed to hear this one sucks, but I guess I now know why I have to wait until September 1st – The UK’s Dumping Ground – to see it. On an entirely unrelated note, I need to actually watch a Cameron Crowe film, since he’s one of those filmmakers I’ve heard great things about but never actually seen anything by (otherwise known as: Most Filmmakers). I guess I’ll start with Pearl Jam 20, since Lucy will not stop going on about Pearl Jam, and go from there.
$7,800,000 / $38,267,000
Told you this would sink like a stone. At least Insidious: Chapter 3 can’t use this as a scapegoat defence if it underwhelms next weekend. Side wish: please underwhelm majorly so I never have to be at risk of seeing an Insidious trailer again.
8] Far From The Madding Crowd
$1,420,000 / $8,362,000
Look, instead of watching this garbage, why don’t we all instead go and watch Thomas Vinterberg’s much, much, much better previous film The Hunt? It’s got Mads Mikkelsen in it! In fact, why don’t we all also just watch Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal TV series instead of this tripe? I think we can all agree that both options are much better usages of our collective time than this walking gasbag.
9] Hot Pursuit
$1,370,000 / $32,351,000
Well, goodbye, Hot Pursuit! You couldn’t even make back your $35 million budget, which would be sad if your film wasn’t apparently so excruciatingly terrible. Don’t let the actually-good Spy knock you on your arse on the way out. Spy, after all, deserves better than associating with wastes of space like you.
$1,150,000 / $170,409,000
Wait, this actually made it to 10 weeks on the chart?! And is the fourth highest-grossing film of the year domestically at time of writing? Alright! High fives and party poppers all round, folks! Today is a very good day! Now if Shaun The Sheep: The Movie could be somewhat of a success when it launches in America in August, that would be just peachy!
I know that that is never going to happen, just give me a few more seconds of blissful denial.
Dropped Out: Furious 7, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2