Memorial Day weekend might be over, but it’s still summer for the major studios. With close to 27% of schools K-12 out this Friday, and growing each weekend, multiplex lobbies should continue to see some foot traffic. Despite any ennui from the lackluster Memorial Day weekend, distrib execs firmly believe it’s a product-driven summer, and the lack of a big pic opening over the four-day frame won’t spoil the entire season.
Warner Bros./Village Roadshow’s disaster film San Andreas starring Dwayne Johnson is looking to move an estimated $40M at 3,777 engagements. 85% of these playdates will be in 3D. Outside the Fast & Furious and G.I. Joe franchises, Johnson’s highest openers, built around him as the chief actor, have been Scorpion King ($36.1M) and Hercules ($29.8M). Johnson has been tubthumping hard for the film. Word is after the Hollywood premiere last night, he promptly boarded a jet to China to continue his PR tour for the film. San Andreas is directed by Brad Peyton, and reps the second time the helmer has worked with Johnson after Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.
San Andreas will be sharing some Imax hubs with Tomorrowland, which industry estimates figure will fall between the high 40%s and -50% (around $16M second weekend). Many point out that the Brad Bird film has the distinct advantage of being the only PG-rated film in the market for some time; the next family title opening isn’t until June 19 when Disney launches Pixar’s Inside Out.
Also bowing this weekend, is Columbia Pictures’ Cameron Crowe star-studded romantic comedy Aloha starring Bradley Cooper as a defense worker who falls for an Air Force pilot (Emma Stone) and reconnects with a long lost love (Rachel McAdams). Pic also stars Danny McBride, Bill Murray, Alec Baldwin and John Krasinski. Aloha will be playing at an estimated 2,800 theaters and looks to bring in $8M-$10M. Despite that low opening, the anticipation is that the mega headliner film will be a sleeper throughout the summer, read Crowe’s last movie We Bought A Zoo starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson, earned an A CinemaScore and posted a jawdropping 8x multiple, bowing to $9.4M over Christmas weekend 2011 and legging out to $75.6M.
Last weekend’s second opener Poltergeist from Fox 2000/MGM looks to scare a gross that’s 50-60% less than its 3-day opening of $22.6M. Horror films by nature fall an average of 60% in their second sesh given how fans show up immediately on the first day.