‘San Andreas’ levels box office with $53M debut

San Andreas - The Rock Dwayne Johnson and Carla Gugino

1. San Andreas – $53 million [debut week] The Rock left the box office all shook up with his latest disaster film in a new career best opening outside the ‘Fast and Furious’ franchise. Clearly the combination of Dwayne Johnson and enormous property damage was a major selling point for audiences. 

While critics were almost equally split on the film (it was 49% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes), fans propelled the film to the seventh best all time debut for a disaster film. It’s not the best disaster opening though — ‘Godzilla‘ set that mark last year with a $93 million debut, but it was enough to knock ‘Independence Day’ ($50.2 million) down a notch to No. 8.

For Hollywood execs looking for a star to open their latest movie, they’d be hard-pressed to find a better bet than Johnson, who is pretty much a guarantee to debut a film at around $30 million.

2. Pitch Perfect 2 – $14.8 million [3rd week; ] The musical comedy keeps belting out pleasing tunes for audiences. While it hardly put up a hotly contested battle against ‘San Andreas,’ it remains a box office force and has earned $228 million worldwide. Considering the $29 million budget, ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ will certainly end the year as one of 2015’s most profitable films.

Tomorrowland - Raffey Cassidy and Thomas Robinson3. Tomorrowland – $13.8 million [2nd week; $63 million] Last week’s box office champ and current ‘Tron 3’ killer, had a significant drop as word-of-mouth didn’t convince moviegoers on the fence to check out George Clooney’s latest. Expect it to fall out of the Top 5 next week with the release of ‘Entourage’ and ‘Spy.’

4. Mad Max: Fury Road – $13.4 million [3rd week; $115 million] The relaunch of the series continues to roll along, but it’s going to take at least another couple of decent weeks to get within distance of the $150 budget. Worldwide it’s at $239 million.

Avengers - Age of Ultron - Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver5. Avengers: Age of Ultron – $11 million [5th week; $425 million] Marvel’s super-powered extravaganza climbed to the No. 10 spot on the all-time list, knocking off ‘The Hunger Games.’ It should have enough steam to beat out ‘E.T.’ ($435 million) and likely ‘Shrek 2’ ($441 million) to reach the No. 8 all time spot.

While it didn’t obliterate every box office record like originally expected, this would put it right behind ‘The Dark Knight Rises,’ with $448 million. Additionally, it’s No. 6 on the worldwide all-time list with $1.285 billion.