Weekend Box Office: ‘Tomorrowland’ Opens With $32 Million On A $190 Million Budget

It’s never a good sign when the words “John Carter” are mentioned in the first paragraph of every box office report, but Tomorrowland has achieved just such a feat, grossing just an estimated $32 million for the weekend on a $190 production budget. Analysts are saying it’ll be lucky to get to $100 million domestic. Barring a miracle, it’s going to lose a lot of money.

…if Tomorrowland ends up with $41 million by Monday, we’re looking at a final domestic gross of between $82m and $105m. [Forbes]

John Carter was directed by Brad Bird’s Pixar-to-live-action contemporary Andrew Stanton, with Bird directing his second live-action feature on Tomorrowland, and while the former was unfairly maligned, the latter is, uh, accurately maligned. Reviews may not matter much to box office, but Tomorrowland‘s flaws seemed to manifest themselves in the marketing campaign. The trailers were cryptic without being particularly tantalizing, probably because the movie they were selling was vague yet preachy, and felt almost like an extended prologue for some eventual franchise that will probably never happen.

‘‘It’s been all about the sequel, known brands, known commodities and characters that people are familiar with,” Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst at Rentrak, said Sunday in a telephone interview. “Audiences are so reticent these days to embrace new content.” [Bloomberg]

Well yeah, they’re reticent to embrace new content if it has no hook. Tomorrowland didn’t fail because it was too original – it failed to offer a coherent promise as much as it failed to deliver. It just sort of looked like an ad for a Disney ride and left people confused.

The other new release of the weekend was Poltergeist, which I’d like to think Sam Rockwell was superimposed in without his knowledge. That grossed $23 million (on a budget of $35 million) which was reportedly in line with expectations.

Last week’s holdovers are still doing well. Pitch Perfect 2 was only slightly behind Tomorrowland with $30 million, dropping 56% from last week’s huge opening. Mad Max: Fury Road, meanwhile, only dropped 47%, proving those good reviews are good for something. Internationally, it has crossed the $100 million mark and has grossed $212 million worldwide all together.

Next week brings us San Andreas, in which The Rock fights the Earthquake that keeps jiggling Alexandra Daddario’s boobs (I hope), and Cameron Crowe’s Aloha, which Sony seems to be hiding from critics.


                     Rev.    Pct.             Avg./   Total
 Movie              (mln)    Chg. Theaters  Theater   (mln)  Wks
1 Tomorrowland      32.2     --    3,972    8,096     32.2    1
2 Pitch Perfect 2   30.3    -56    3,560    8,525    117.8    2
3 Mad Max           23.9    -47    3,722    6,417     87.3    2
4 Poltergeist       23.0     --    3,240    7,099     23.0    1
5 Avengers: Ultron  20.9    -46    3,727    5,606    404.1    4
6 Hot Pursuit        3.5    -39    2,577    1,348     28.9    3
7 The Madding Crowd  2.3     82      865    2,636      5.4    4
8 Furious 7          2.1    -42    1,653    1,285    347.0    8
9 Paul Blart         1.8    -50    1,878      935     65.6    6
10 Home              1.7    -34    1,444    1,163    168.0    9

[Rentrak Numbers based on Sunday estimates, via Bloomberg]