UPDATE, Friday 7:52 AM: Disney just reported for Tomorrowland with $725K from its limited run in what they’ve been calling 701 “premium/palace locations” (which means IMAX and PLF screens) with a nice $1,077 per screen average. Had they played the film on a greater number of screens — in the 2,500 to 3,000 range — they would have ended up with a nice Thursday preview in the millions of dollars. But they didn’t. So the if-they-had scenarios ($2.7M to $3.2M is being tossed around) didn’t happen.
We were looking at Interstellar ($47.5M for the three-day) as a possible comp, but that one opened to a per screen of $5,400 taking in $1.35M on 249 screens when it debuted on a Wednesday. Big difference? Tomorrowland is clearly more of a kids’ film. So, let’s look at Epic instead. That one took in $9.3M on Friday $9.3M with a 3-day gross of $33.5M and a 4-day take of $42.6M when it opened in May of 2013. We expect Tomorrowland to end the weekend above $50M as they are off to a solid start with this nicely done film and really is the only true family film out there right now.
PREVIOUSLY, 7:43 AM: Memorial Day weekend hopes to end with a bang as Disney’s sci-fi adventure Tomorrowland opened at 7 PM last night in previews on only 701 screens (no numbers available yet) while Fox’s PG-13 horror film Poltergeist scared in a very strong $1.4M on previews starting at 8 PM on around 2,500 dates.
Because Disney is releasing in a limited number of theaters, there is nothing to compare the late night grosses to when they do come, however, we expect the Brad Bird-directed film to win the weekend with a three-day haul of around $40M and a four-day holiday gross of about $50M as it plays on 3,972 theaters. It’s an inspiring family film with a message that is very Capra-esque, and I expect it to garner a high CinemaScore tonight.
Helping boost the George Clooney-starring Tomorrowland today and tonight is that it is playing on the majority of IMAX screens; that should help boost the family film’s weekend box office gross.
Poltergeist, the reboot of the 1982 horror classic from filmmaker Steven Spielberg, has a couple of comps to look at — Dracula Untold (also PG-13) which bowed to $1.3M in October of last year and grossed $23.5M, and also the PG-13 Oujia which nabbed $911K in late nights last October and went onto gross $19.8M in its opening weekend. Poltergeist could come as high as $25M when all is said and done as there has been zip for the horror crowd for a month now.
Neither film is really ripping up the boards on social media. Poltergeist has a growing 410K FB followers (meh) and is quite light on Twitter with only 13K followers, but it has leapfrogged over Tomorrowland on Twitter, noted RelishMix which tracks this sort of thing.
The official Tomorrowland FB page has a modest fan base of around 150K while George Clooney is pretty much non-existant on social media. Thank God for the film’s Hugh Laurie and his 5.6M FB fans who are very actively engaging with Tomorrowland posts and co-star Tim McGraw, who is the leading social media star with 7.3M Facebook fans and posted one interview on May 19th about the film.
Tomorrowland is also bowing in 65 markets overseas day and date, which comprises 56% of the international box office with a quick rollout into major markets such as the U.K., Russia, Germany, Italy, and Mexico followed next week by China on May 26 and Australia and Korea on May 28.