San Andreas, the poorly reviewed Rock-versus-earthquake disaster movie that has nothing to do with the Grand Theft Auto video game, did well at the box office this weekend. Its $53 million haul was Dwayne Johnson’s best-ever opening weekend outside of the Fast and Furious series (where he gets some help from the franchise’s vast ensemble). The charisma and enthusiasm that Johnson, self-promoter extraordinaire, brings to his roles (and the publicity leading up to his films’ releases) has never been doubted, but San Andreas’s impressive gross proves that he can carry a bad movie all by himself, like a loaded barbell strewn across those strapping shoulders.
In second place, the similarly poorly reviewed Pitch Perfect 2 continued its surprising success, pulling in $14.3 million, beating out the significantly more expensive (and ambitious) Tomorrowland, Brad Bird’s pseudo-Randian sci-fi movie. The George Clooney vehicle earned a middling $13.8 million — a 58 percent drop from last week. Its lackluster worldwide cumulative earnings are now at $130 million, which doesn’t come close to recouping its $190 million budget. Trailing just behind Tomorrowland was George Miller’s astonishing Mad Max: Fury Road, which made $13.6 million. Not bad for an Australian feminist action movie.
The other surprise — well, a non-surprise, really — is Cameron Crowe’s Aloha, which made a stinky $10 million. (It cost $50 million to make, somehow.) On the bright side, it still made slightly more money than Crowe’s previous film, We Bought a Zoo.