May 23, 2015


This Memorial Day weekend won’t set any box office records, but it should be interesting to watch nonetheless. One week after Pitch Perfect 2 and Mad Max: Fury Road surprised many of us with their bigger-than-expected debuts, there is still a lot of goodwill remaining for the two holdovers. Pitch Perfect 2 earned an estimated $9.7 million on Friday and is expected to bring in approximately $33 million this weekend. That will push the musical comedy well over the $100 million mark and may even be enough to give PP2 a second frame on top of the domestic box office.

The fate of Pitch Perfect 2 hangs on the number of people that turn out to see Disney’s Tomorrowland this weekend. Initial projections had the PG-rated adventure claiming an easy win with at least $40 million over its debut frame. But based on Friday’s estimates, Tomorrowland may have to settle for second. The movie barely edged out Pitch Perfect 2 on Friday, earning an estimated $9.73 million from 3,970 locations. That indicates a more modest opening in the $32 million range – just under Universal’s current projection for Pitch Perfect 2. Tomorrowland could rally a bit on Saturday, assuming families show up to support the film in Disney-sized numbers. Then again, the film’s so-so ‘B’ CinemaScore suggests that Tomorrowland may not be the event pic that Disney was hoping for.poltergeist-reboot-image

Also new on Friday was the Fox/MGM reboot of the supernatural horror classic Poltergeist. The original Poltergeist was directed by Tobe Hooper (Texas Chainsaw Massacre) and produced by Steven Spielberg. It earned $76.6 million in the summer of 1982, or over $186 million after adjusting for inflation. More than three decades later, the reimagined Poltergeist will be lucky to reach its predecessor’s non-inflationary domestic total. Poltergeist 2015 earned an estimated $9.3 million from 3,240 locations on Friday and is expected to fall short of $24 million through Sunday. That’s actually in line with expectations for the PG-13 horror pic, which received a discouraging C+ from CinemaScore audiences.

Entering its second frame, Mad Max: Fury Road continues to thrive. After debuting with a robust $45.5 million, the well-reviewed feature took in an estimated $6.7 million yesterday and is projected to add another $25 million to its domestic total this weekend.

Outside of the fight for first-place,2015’s Memorial Day frame should provide box office nerds with at least one additional point of interest. Each of Friday’s top five feature films is expected to earn $20 million or more between Friday and Sunday. In this age of opening weekends dominated by one or maybe two titles, that’s a fairly rare occurrence. In fact, the last time the box office hosted five $20-plus million releases was in June 2013, when The Heat and White House Down opened opposite strong holdovers Monsters University, World War Z and Man of Steel.

Here’s a look at Friday’s top five. Check back later this weekend for updates on the 2015 Memorial Day holiday box office.

 Title Friday Total
1.  Tomorrowland $9,737,000 $9.7
2.  Pitch Perfect 2 $9,700,000 $97.2
3.  Poltergeist (2015) $9,350,000 $9.3
4.  Mad Max: Fury Road $6,745,000 $70.1
5.  Avengers: Age of Ultron $5,356,000 $388.5


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