The box office didn’t give us the dead-heat between Tomorrowland and Pitch Perfect 2 that was hinted at by Friday’s estimates. Instead, Tomorrowland was able to hold onto first place with an estimated $32.1 million, including $725,000 from Thursday previews. That’s slightly more than was forecast yesterday, thanks to a slight audience bump on family-friendly Saturday. A victory for Tomorrowland – even a narrow one – is good news for Disney. The live-action adventure cost a reported $190 million before marketing. By comparison, Pitch Perfect 2 was budgeted at just under $30 million.
Pitch Perfect 2 wound up in second place with an estimated $30.3 million, representing a drop 56%. PP2 also saw its domestic total rise above $100 million on Saturday: quite an achievement considering the first Pitch Perfect topped out at $65 million back in 2012. Of course, the original film gained much of its fanbase from its home video and cable runs. And because it was budgeted at less than $20 million, Pitch Perfect’s $65 million total was a big win for Universal. If it wasn’t, would we be talking about a sequel this morning?
With Pitch Perfect 2 now looking like it will stay in second, Tomorrowland should get full bragging-rights over the four-day Memorial Day frame. In many cases a second-place debut wouldn’t be a bad thing – no one would accuse Mad Max: Fury Road of a having a disappointing opening last weekend, for example. But there are a few reasons why number two would not have cut cut it for Tomorrowland. First, the film’s aforementioned giant budget. Second, the live-action release had the benefit of IMAX and other large format screens formerly home to Avengers: Age of Ultron to boost its grosses. If those higher ticket prices weren’t able to put Tomorrowland above PP2, Disney would have some explaining to do come Monday.
Speaking of the Avengers, Age of Ultron hit a major milestone this weekend. The Disney/Marvel sequel passed $400 million in domestic grosses on Sunday, putting it within reach of the $409 final gross of Iron Man 3.
Mad Max: Fury Road followed up its impressive debut last weekend with a great hold in its sophomore frame. The reimagined franchise pic earned an estimated $23.88 million from 3,722 locations (up by 20 screens since its debut), or a decline of just 47%.
Opening in fourth place was the Fox/MGM reboot of Poltergeist. Though word of mouth has not served the PG-13 horror pic well (it received a C+ from CinemaScore and earned a 34% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes), Poltergeist is actually doing decent business in its debut. The film earned an estimated $23 million from 3,240 locations this weekend and should extend its domestic total to $30 million after adding in Monday’s holiday. That’s significantly better than the last horror film to hit the box office – Unfriended – which earned just over $32 million in its first five weeks.
Here’s a look at where estimates currently stand for the top ten this Memorial Day weekend:
|2.||Pitch Perfect 2||$30,300,000||$117.8|
|3.||Mad Max: Fury Road||$23,885,000||$87.3|
|5.||Avengers: Age of Ultron||$20,895,000||$404|
|7.||Far From the Madding Crowd||$2,280,000||$5.3|
|9.||Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2||$1,755,000||$65.5|