Memorial Day weekend will really kick off at 7 PM on Thursday when previews for the sci-fi adventure Tomorrowland begin with IMAX letting go of Disney/Marvel’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron (after its fourth weekend) and taking hold of the Disney film that stars George Clooney and two young stars Britt Robertson and Raffey Cassidy. Also debuting this weekend will be the Poltergeist reboot from Fox, which hopes to tap into a horror hungry crowd who haven’t had a decent scare since Unfriended bowed four weeks ago. Very well dated. It kicks off at 8 PM on Thursday.
Tomorrowland is also bowing in 65 markets overseas day and date, which comprises 56% of the international box office and will include France (May 20), Russia, Germany, and Italy (May 21); and UK and Mexico (May 22). Key upcoming debuts include China (May 26), Australia and Korea on (May 28), Spain (May 29), Brazil (June 4) and Japan (June 6).
The domestic marketplace this Memorial Day holiday is a far cry from last year when X-Men: Days Of Future Past bowed with $90.8M and Godzilla was in its sophomore frame stomping in with $30.9M and Blended ($14.2M). This year, we don’t expect to see one picture take all the air out of the box office, rather we may see at least four (if not five) titles grossing over $20M. Let’s take a look:
Tomorrowland, which Disney really started marketing at New York’s Comic Con in 2014 where Clooney made an appearance and then followed with a spot during this year’s SuperBowl, is a PG-rated family film directed by Brad Bird (The Incredibles). It’s likely to win the weekend as it is expected in at around $40M for the 3-day and anywhere between $45M and $50M for the 4-day holiday as it plays out in 3,800 theaters in the states. That being said, one observer noted, the question is whether families will want to shell out the higher ticket prices. Disney’s marketing campaign seemed soft for awhile, but looks like it has taken a harder approach in recent spots but, let’s face it, it’s a complicated story to tell. There’s really nothing new out there right now for the family audience so Tomorrowland is kinda it.
The film is also the first movie to bow in Dolby Vision, Dolby’s new state-of-the-art imaging and projection system. The film was shown in Dolby Vision at the world premiere in Anaheim — which, by the way, was fantastic — and will show in that format at Disney’s El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood.
The sci-fi family offering is tracking best with older and younger females which means that it could take a little wind out of Universal’s Pitch Perfect 2. The musical comedy may end up in low-to-mid-$30Ms for the 3-day and mid-to-high $30M for the 4-day.
During the week so far, PP2 has lost ground to Mad Max: Fury Road which was No. 1 for the day. Best guesstimates is that Mad Max: Fury Road could pull in low $20M for the 3-day and mid-to-high $20Ms for the 4-day as the second weekend drop of this R-rated film will be interesting to watch. It’s the only R-rated film in the marketplace to speak of right now but they need to continue to build the young, male audience. The studio believes it will have strong legs and it just might. The dystopian actioner needs to make a lot of money to make its production, marketing and distribution costs back.
Fox should do fine with Poltergeist with an expected high-teen to low $20M for the 3-day and maybe low-to-mid $20M gross once the holiday weekend ends.