'San Andreas' tops box office with $53.2m

The movie took in more than 5 times as much as the $10 million opening of 'Aloha.'

Dwayne Johnson during one of his set of the movie 'San Andreas'. Picture: San Andreas Official Facebook.

LOS ANGELES Dwayne Johnsons _ San Andreas_ has delivered a dominating $53.2 million opening weekend at 3,777 US locations, soaring past recent forecasts of a $40 million launch for the Warner Bros-New Line 3D disaster pic.

San Andreas took in more than five times as much as the $10 million opening of Sonys romantic comedy Aloha, which arrived at 2,815 sites amid extensive negative buzz, despite the starpower of Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone and Rachel McAdams. Sony distribution chief Rory Bruer noted that Aloha, launched as a counterprogramer to San Andreas, received a B+ CinemaScore among adults 25-34; the audience was 64 percent female with 57 percent of the audience over 30.

San Andreas underlines Johnsons drawing power in the wake of being a key component of Universals Furious 7 and its $1.5 billion worldwide gross. Hes been front and centre in the promotion for San Andreas, where he plays a heroic helicopter pilot seeking to rescue his daughter, played by Alexandra Daddario, amid the rubble of a mega-quake.

Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak, noted that San Andreas gained momentum throughout the weekend due to the film delivering what he called pure popcorn movie excitement.

Johnson is clearly one of the most bankable stars working today, he added. Johnsons versatility, charisma, humour and his imposing physical presence on the big screen has made him the go-to guy for filmmakers looking to ratchet up the excitement level and drawing power of their films.

San Andreas, which also stars Carla Gugino and Paul Giamatti, earned an impressive A- CinemaScore from audiences, with 70 percent coming from the over-25 demo. Dan Fellman, Warners domestic distribution chief, said Johnson deserves much of the credit.

Hes a four-quadrant, larger-than-life movie star, Fellman said. This is going to have great legs.

Village Roadshow Pictures co-financed and co-produced San Andreas with Warners for $110 million, with most of the film lensing in Australia to take advantage of government incentives.

Universals third weekend of Pitch Perfect 2 led the rest of the pack, finishing with $14.8 million at 3,660 locations. The comedy sequel, which carries a modest $29 million price tag, has outperformed expectations with a total of $147.5 million in 17 days in the US with another $80 million-plus internationally.

Disneys second frame of George Clooneys Tomorrowland finished at a close third with $13.8 million for a $63.2 million 10-day total. The high-priced fantasy, with a $180 million budget, isnt showing much traction with a 58 percent decline from its opening weekend.

On the foreign front, Tomorrowland hasnt dazzled either. It took in $29.3 million from 75 markets, including $13.8 million from its first six days in China, to lift international grosses to $70 million.

Tomorrowland edged Warners third weekend of Mad Max: Fury Road, which motored to $13.6 million at 3,255 sites. The Tom Hardy-Charlize Theron tentpole declined percent and has totaled $115.9 million in the US in 17 days.

Disney-Marvels fifth weekend of Avengers: Age of Ultron finished fifth, ahead of Aloha, with $10.9 million at 3,228 sites, declining percent. The tentpole has hit $427.1 million, passing The Hunger Games: Catching Fire for the 10th spot on the all-time list of top domestic grossers.

Ultron took in $17.6 million overseas to push its international total to $894 million and its worldwide take to $1.32 billion, the sixth highest total of all time.

Despite San Andreas, the overall weekend was down around 20 percent compared with last years post-Memorial weekend when Disneys Maleficent opened with $69.4 million and Foxs X-Men: Days of Future Past took $32.6 million in its second frame.