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By Daniel Garris

Warner's San Andreas demolished expectations in a big way this weekend with a first place start of $54.59 million. The Dwayne Johnson led disaster film proved to be critic proof this weekend and no doubt received an added boost from Johnson's growing fanbase after the recent break-out success of Furious 7. The opening weekend performance of San Andreas was especially impressive when considering the relatively low levels of online buzz the film displayed in the weeks leading up to its release. In addition to outpacing expectations in a big way, San Andreas opened 83 percent stronger than the $29.80 million start of last year's Hercules and just 18 percent below the $66.41 million opening of 2013's World War Z.

San Andreas opened with $18.15 million on Friday (which included an estimated $3.1 million from Thursday evening shows), increased a surprisingly strong 13 percent on Saturday to take in $20.51 million and declined just 22 percent on Sunday to gross $15.93 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at 3.01 to 1. That is a very encouraging early sign going forward, as is the film's A- rating on CinemaScore (which suggests that the film is going over much better with moviegoers than with critics). However, competition will be especially fierce throughout the month of June, especially from Universal's Jurassic World.

The audience breakdown for San Andreas was nearly evenly split between genders (51 percent female, 49 percent male) and skewed heavily towards moviegoers over the age of 25 (70 percent).

Pitch Perfect 2 placed in a distant second this weekend with $14.82 million. Universal's successful musical comedy sequel starring Anna Kendrick was down a sharp 52 percent from last weekend's three-day frame. While Pitch Perfect 2 continues to be quite front-loaded, the film is still outpacing expectations in a big way with a 17-day take of $147.52 million. That places the film 30 percent ahead of the $113.70 million 17-day take of last year's Neighbors. Pitch Perfect 2 could experience another sizable decline next weekend with both Fox's Spy and Focus's Insidious: Chapter 3 entering the marketplace.

On the heels of last weekend's already lackluster start, Disney's Tomorrowland was down two spots and a troubling 57 percent this weekend to place in third with $14.30 million. Mixed word of mouth and the break-out performance of San Andreas both clearly took a toll on Tomorrowland this weekend. The pricy Brad Bird directed sci-fi film starring George Clooney has grossed $63.69 million in ten days of release. Tomorrowland is currently running 13 percent behind the $73.10 million ten-day start of 2011's Super 8 and will need to stabilize very soon if it is to eventually reach the $100 million domestic mark.

Warner's Mad Max: Fury Road followed closely behind in fourth with $14.18 million. The critically acclaimed action film starring Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron was down 42 percent, which represented a solid hold given the added presence of San Andreas this weekend. Mad Max: Fury Road continues to perform on the high end of expectations with a 17-day take of $116.47 million. That places the film 7 percent ahead of the $108.45 million 17-day gross of 2012's Prometheus.

Avengers: Age of Ultron rounded out the weekend's top five with $11.40 million. The blockbuster superhero sequel from Disney and Marvel fell 47 percent from last weekend. Avengers: Age of Ultron has grossed $427.55 million through 31 days of release. The film surpassed the $424.67 million final gross of 2013's The Hunger Games: Catching Fire this weekend to move into tenth place on the all-time unadjusted domestic chart.

Meanwhile, Sony's Aloha was off to a very soft start this weekend with a sixth place take of just $9.67 million. The Cameron Crowe directed film starring Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone and Rachel McAdams opened below its already scaled back expectations. Unlike San Andreas, which was able to use Johnson's recent success with Furious 7 to its advantage, Aloha was unable to see any type of boost from Cooper's recent success with American Sniper. The one saving grace for Aloha is that the film carried a modest reported production budget of $37 million. Aloha opened 14 percent below the $11.24 million three-day start of 2009's All About Steve.

Aloha started out with $3.49 million on Friday (which included an estimated $0.50 million from Thursday evening shows), increased 6 percent on Saturday to take in $3.69 million and declined 32.5 percent on Sunday to gross $2.49 million. That gave the film an opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.77 to 1. While a number of Crowe's previous efforts have been able to display very strong holding power, Aloha will have an uphill battle ahead of it given a soft B- rating on CinemaScore, poor critical reviews and the amount of competition it will face throughout June. The audience breakdown for the film skewed towards female moviegoers (64 percent) and towards moviegoers over the age of 30 (57 percent).

Fox's Poltergeist placed in seventh this weekend with $8.06 million. The PG-13 horror remake was down a very sharp 64 percent from last weekend. Poltergeist has grossed $38.53 million in ten days. That is towards the lower end of pre-release expectations and places the film 7 percent behind the $41.53 million ten-day take of 2013's Evil Dead.

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Sunday Update: Warner's San Andreas demolished expectations in a big way this weekend with an estimated first place start of $53.22 million. The Dwayne Johnson led disaster film proved to be critic proof this weekend and no doubt received an added boost from Johnson's growing fanbase after the recent break-out success of Furious 7. The opening weekend performance of San Andreas was especially impressive when considering the relatively low levels of online buzz the film displayed in the weeks leading up to its release. In addition to outpacing expectations in a big way, San Andreas opened 79 percent stronger than the $29.80 million start of last year's Hercules and just 20 percent below the $66.41 million opening of 2013's World War Z.

San Andreas opened with $18.23 million on Friday (which included an estimated $3.1 million from Thursday evening shows), increased a surprisingly strong 13 percent on Saturday to take in $20.58 million and is estimated to decline 30 percent on Sunday to gross $14.41 million. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.92 to 1. That is a very encouraging early sign going forward, as is the film's A- rating on CinemaScore (which suggests that the film is going over much better with moviegoers than with critics). However, competition will be especially fierce throughout the month of June, especially from Universal's Jurassic World.

The audience breakdown for San Andreas was nearly evenly split between genders (51 percent female, 49 percent male) and skewed heavily towards moviegoers over the age of 25 (70 percent). 3D grosses represented 44 percent of this weekend's overall gross.

Pitch Perfect 2 placed in a distant second this weekend with an estimated $14.8 million. Universal's successful musical comedy sequel starring Anna Kendrick was down a sharp 52 percent from last weekend's three-day frame. While Pitch Perfect 2 continues to be quite front-loaded, the film is still outpacing expectations in a big way with a 17-day take of $147.54 million. That places the film 30 percent ahead of the $113.70 million 17-day take of last year's Neighbors. Pitch Perfect 2 could experience another sizable decline next weekend with both Fox's Spy and Focus's Insidious: Chapter 3 entering the marketplace.

On the heels of last weekend's already lackluster start, Disney's Tomorrowland was down two spots and a troubling 58 percent this weekend to place in third with an estimated $13.8 million. Mixed word of mouth and the break-out performance of San Andreas both clearly took a toll on Tomorrowland this weekend. The pricy Brad Bird directed sci-fi film starring George Clooney has grossed $63.19 million in ten days of release. Tomorrowland is currently running 14 percent behind the $73.10 million ten-day start of 2011's Super 8 and will need to stabilize very soon if it is to eventually reach the $100 million domestic mark.

Warner's Mad Max: Fury Road followed closely behind in fourth with an estimated $13.63 million. The critically acclaimed action film starring Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron was down 45 percent, which represented a respectable decline given the added presence of San Andreas this weekend. Mad Max: Fury Road continues to perform on the high end of expectations with a 17-day take of $115.91 million. That places the film 7 percent ahead of the $108.45 million 17-day gross of 2012's Prometheus.

Avengers: Age of Ultron rounded out the weekend's top five with an estimated $10.92 million. The blockbuster superhero sequel from Disney and Marvel fell 50 percent from last weekend. Avengers: Age of Ultron has grossed $427.07 million through 31 days of release. The film surpassed the $424.67 million final gross of 2013's The Hunger Games: Catching Fire this weekend to move into tenth place on the all-time unadjusted domestic chart.

Meanwhile, Sony's Aloha was off to a soft start this weekend with an estimated sixth place take of $10.0 million. The Cameron Crowe directed film starring Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone and Rachel McAdams opened below its already scaled back expectations. Unlike San Andreas, which was able to use Johnson's recent success with Furious 7 to its advantage, Aloha was unable to see any type of boost from Cooper's recent success with American Sniper. The one saving grace for Aloha is that the film carried a modest reported production budget of $37 million. Aloha opened 11 percent below the $11.24 million three-day start of 2009's All About Steve.

Aloha started out with $3.50 million on Friday (which included an estimated $0.50 million from Thursday evening shows), increased 6 percent on Saturday to take in $3.73 million and is estimated to decline 25.5 percent on Sunday to gross $2.78 million. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.86 to 1. While many of Crowe's previous efforts have been able to display tremendous holding power, Aloha will have an uphill battle ahead of it given a soft B- rating on CinemaScore, poor critical reviews and the amount of competition it will face throughout June. The audience breakdown for the film skewed towards female moviegoers (64 percent) and towards moviegoers over the age of 30 (57 percent).

Fox's Poltergeist placed in seventh this weekend with an estimated $7.8 million. The PG-13 horror remake was down a very sharp 66 percent from last weekend. Poltergeist has grossed $38.27 million in ten days. That is towards the lower end of pre-release expectations and places the film 8 percent behind the $41.53 million ten-day take of 2013's Evil Dead.

Saturday Update: Warner Bros. reports San Andreas bowed to an impressive $18.215 million on Friday, including Thursday's pre-shows. That figure easily makes it Dwayne Johnson's career best opening day for a film in which he's the primary lead actor (topping The Scorpion King's $12.55 million), while also blowing past the $11.06 million first day of his Hercules last summer. For added perspective in the disaster genre, San Andreas earned more in its first day than Into the Storm pulled ($17.35 million) over its three-day weekend last August. Johnson's star power is certainly to thank here following his popular presence in the Fast & Furious franchise, as well as G.I. Joe: Retaliation and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island -- all franchises for which he's credited for helping revive at some point. Word of mouth for San Andreas doesn't look strong with a 63 percent audience score and 49 percent critics' score, but either way, the film is poised to become a financial success with this kind of debut. In its favor, the studio reports the pic earned an "A-" CinemaScore. BoxOffice is projecting a $49 million opening weekend.

In second place Friday, Pitch Perfect 2 was off 52.5 percent from last Friday to add $4.6 million to its haul. The comedy sequel continues to play well as we head into June, having now reached $137.3 million domestically. Universal is projecting a $14.2 million weekend.

Mad Max: Fury Road posted another $3.865 million yesterday, down just 42 percent from last Friday. George Miller's post-apocalyptic franchise revival has amassed $106.16 million in North America thus far, and should bring in around $12.7 million for its third frame as it continues to benefit from enthusiastic audience and critical reception.

Disney's Tomorrowland claimed fourth place on Friday with $3.78 million, down 61 percent from opening day last week. Unfortunately, the original sci-fi adventure from Brad Bird hasn't caught fire with audiences as it now stands at $53.2 million domestically after eight days in release. BoxOffice projects a $12.3 million sophomore frame.

Cameron Crowe's Aloha opened unceremoniously on Friday despite its star-studded cast. The rom-com pulled $3.6 million in fifth place yesterday. Sony notes the pic received a "B+" CinemaScore from adults 25-54, but critics have mostly panned the film (18 percent) while early audience reception is heading in a sour direction (44 percent). Although the film's production budget was a modest $37 million, its projected $10.5 million opening this weekend unfortunately won't be enough to save it in the long run.

Meanwhile, Avengers: Age of Ultron added $2.86 million yesterday for a 46.5 percent week-to-week drop. The Marvel blockbuster sequel has totaled $419 million domestically now, and could finish ahead of Aloha for the weekend with a projected $10.7 million.

Check BoxOffice on Sunday for official weekend estimates from the studios.

Friday Update #2: Sources tell BoxOffice that San Andreas is headed for an opening slightly above $40 million during its debut frame. Aloha should end up with around $14 million.

Check back tomorrow for official studio numbers and updated projections.

Friday Update #1: Warner Bros. reports that San Andreas got off to a strong start on Thursday night with an estimated $3.1 million. That figure handily tops fellow Dwayne Johnson starrer Hercules, which pulled $2.1 million from Thursday shows in mid-July last year. San Andreas also wasn't too far behind the $3.7 million Thursday bow of Mad Max: Fury Road. It's pretty clear that Johnson's star power is the driving force behind the disaster pic's potential this weekend.

Meanwhile, Aloha also debuts in theaters today, although no Thursday figures were available at the time of publishing.

Check back for more updates throughout the day and weekend.

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Jonathan Papish @ChinaBoxOffice

Updated 6.1.15 w/ actuals from studios

Led by Dwayne Johnson's star power, San Andreas sent tectonic plates rocking across the world, registering an initial $63.9 million on the overseas Richter scale from 60 markets and $118.5 million worldwide. It opened at #1 in 55 markets. Mexico grossed an estimated $10.1 million on 3,150 screens grabbing 75% of the weekend B.O. total. The UK/Ireland shook up $7.2 million from 840 screens. Russia dominated with $5.3 million on 2,256 screen. San Andreas also took the top spot in Brazil ($3.2 million), France ($3.1 million), Australia ($2.5 million), Germany ($2.2 million), Italy ($1.1 million), Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Indonesia (All Asian markets = $11 million). San Andreas opens on Tuesday in China on Wednesday in South Korea, and in 7 additional markets this upcoming weekend.

Doraemon Stand By Me had a massive opening weekend in China with $33.74 million and a 4-day total of $38.22 million. Doraemon's Saturday and Sunday grosses both surpassed the previous record for a single-day total by an animated feature held by Kung Fu Panda 2's opening day $10.8 million in 2011. Doraemon is China's first Japanese import in 3 years after relations between the two neighboring countries soured in 2012 over territory in the East China Sea. It follows a geeky and lazy 10 year old and the time-traveling robotic cat sent from the future to help him navigate the pitfalls of adolescence. 

Tomorrowland continued its slow orbit this weekend, absorbing only $23.7 million from 88% of its final international footprint. The Disney sci-fi adventure flick has made $70 million overseas after two weekends and $133.2 million globally. Tomorrowland sputtered upon launch in China on Tuesday and has only managed an estimated $14.09 million in 6 days which is far below expectations, but still easily the film's top performing overseas territory. Other territories: Russia ($6.4 million), UK ($6.2 million), Mexico ($4.5 million), France ($4.1 million), Italy ($2.4 million), Germany ($2.2 million), Thailand ($1.9 million), Taiwan ($1.9 million), South Korea ($1.6 million), Spain ($1.2 million), Austria ($1.2 million). Tomorrowland opens in Brazil and Japan next weekend, its final international markets.

Mad Max: Fury Road rolled to $21.6 million from 10,220 screens in 70 markets this weekend, lifting its overseas total to $165 million and its global total to $280.92 million through a third frame. South Korea is going mad for Max, bestowing the film with its third box office crown in a row ($5.1M/$23.5M cume) after falling off just 16% from last weekend. Other key territories include UK/Ireland ($2.7M/$21.3M cume), France ($2.0M/$14.0M cume), Australia ($2.0M/$12.9M cume), Brazil ($1.3M/$9.0M cume), Russia ($1.0M/12.1M cume), Germany ($1.0M/$7.2M cume), Mexico ($508K/$7.1M cume), Spain ($379K/$3.3M cume), and Italy ($302K/$3.0M cume). Max opens in Japan on June 20. There is still no official confirmation on a China release date.

Avengers: Age of Ultron swept up another $17.6 million in its 6th frame overseas, raising its international box office to $894.2 million and its global box office to $1.3213 billion. Ultron passed another Disney film, Frozen, to become the 6th highest grossing film of all-time worldwide. Ultron slipped another 65% in China this weekend, but its 20-day total of $226.74 million is good enough for #3 all-time behind Transformers 4 ($319 million) and Furious 7 ($390.8 million). Other key territories: South Korea ($82.1 million), UK/Ireland ($71.7 million), Mexico ($39.9 million), Brazil ($46.8 million), Russia ($33.3 million), France ($33.0 million), Germany ($32.0 million), and Australia ($30.8 million). Ultron will try to pass Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2 ($1.3415 billion) for the 5th highest grossing film of all-time when it opens on July 4th in Japan.

The Barden Bellas helped Pitch Perfect 2 sing to the tune of an additional $10.1 million from 46 territories this frame, bringing the overseas total to $80.68 million and the global haul to $228.2 million. Universal's sequel opened at #5 in Italy with $319K at 261 dates (2x PP1's opening), #9 in South Korea with $401K at 246 dates (7x), and #5 in Hong Kong with $234K at 25 dates (PP1 didn't play in HK). Strong holdovers include the UK/Ireland, down only 33% from last weekend with $2.9 million and a 17-day total of $22.8 million, Australia, dropping 49% with an estimated $1.4 million and a 24-day cume of $19.7 million, and Germany, falling just 23% for $1.3 million and a $9.1 million total. Pitch Perfect 2 will perform in 12 more territories on its worldwide tour. Next stop is Chile on June 25.

Director Paul Feig and star Melissa McCarthy's Spy netted $8.99 million from 1,633 screens in just ten Asia-Pacific markets for an impressive $27.75 million after its second pre-NA release frame. Great holds in South Korea (-18%/$3.85M/$11.41M cume), Australia (-33%/$1.93M/$5.7M cume), Taiwan (-30%/$953K/$3.17M cume), Hong Kong (-29%/$583K/$1.98M cume), Malaysia (-41%$448K/$1.52M cume), Singapore (-24%/$285K/$753K cume), and New Zealand (-27%/$285K/$753K cume). Spy opens in 53 markets next weekend along with North America.

Poltergeist scared up $6.65 million from 47 markets this weekend, raising its overseas total to $18.43 million and its global total to $56.67 million after two frames. The 20th Century Fox horror remake opened at #2 in Germany with $1.52 million, 34% ahead of Insidious 2, and in the top spot in Austria with $213K, double Insidious' opening. The film also held well in Brazil (-38%/$1.27M/$3.94M cume) and the UK/Ireland (-49%/$1.13M/$5.15M cume). Poltergeist will expand to 20 additional markets throughout the Summer including Russia, France, Mexico, and Italy.

Home is on its last legs overseas, but still managed to squeeze out $3.82 million from 2,877 screens in 45 markets. Venezuela held well with $1.43M in its third weekend for a $5.59M cume. Home has cozied up to $199.5M overseas and $369.91M globally.

PK, India's highest grossing film of all-time, held well in China this weekend, dropping only 28% for $3.72 million and $12.04 million after 10 days of release. Strong word of mouth for PK and the fact it retained screens this week could foretell a healthy run for the Bollywood flick which has already become the highest grossing Indian film of all-time in China.

Films with less than $2 million overseas this weekend (Weekend Total/Overseas Total/Global Total)
Shinjuku Swan (#1 in Japan) - $2.01 million/$2.01 million/$2.01 million
Furious 7 - $1.8 million/$1.157 billion/$1.507 billion
Cinderella - $1.6 million/$333.4 million/$531.8 million
The Maze Runner - $893K/$243.12 million/$345.5 million
The Longest Ride - $570K/$20.86 million/$57.93 million
Unfriended - $251K/$11.65 million/$44.13 million
Ex Machina - $138K/$10.63 million/$34.23 million

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San Andreas is shaking things up overseas. The disaster flick claimed $13.5 million from 14,444 screens in 60 markets, taking first place across all key markets to reach an overseas cume of $21.4 million. 

Mexico enjoyed a $2.5 million debut on Friday from 2,701 screens, giving it the best Friday opening of all time for a disaster movie. UK opened on Friday to $1.9 million from 840 screens. Russia made $1.1 million from 2,256 screens in it second day of release, bringing the market total to $2.2 million. Australia took in $540k from 448 screens and is now up to a $885k total. Brazil made $517k from 926 screens, giving it a two-day cume of $872k. France grossed $506k from 496 screens, raising its cume to $1.3 million. Germany made $483k from 640 screens, with 96% of the box office coming from 3D screens to bring the cume to $835k. Italy added $181k from 394 screens on Friday to bring its total to $318k.

San Andreas expands to China, Korea, Hong Kong and 5 smaller markets next weekend with Spain slated for June 26.

 

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