Now that America’s postwar sense of optimism has been replaced with a bitter cynicism about the future—or perhaps because a movie based on a theme park is what passes for a bold original concept in today’s blockbuster landscape—moviegoers went to see Tomorrowland over the holiday weekend, but they weren’t all that jazzed about it. Brad Bird’s new movie just barely beat Pitch Perfect 2 to secure the No. 1 spot, pulling in an estimated $40.7 million to the a capella sequel’s $37.9 million over the four-day holiday weekend. (America’s enthusiasm for “pitch” puns remains strong, apparently.) This was below projections for the $180 million movie, which could reflect either audiences’ secret preference for sequels and remakes or that maybe considering anything less than an Avengers-style $200 million opening weekend a “disappointment” is unsustainable. Which lesson studio executives are likely to take away seems depressingly obvious.
An argument for the latter view is the continued performance of Mad Max: Fury Road, which has yet to reach No. 1 but continues to make money thanks to rapturous critical reception and strong word of mouth. Furiosa and friends fell to No. 3 this week, but have completed their journey to the Green Place with a worldwide gross of $212 million and counting, ensuring that the feasting in Valhalla will continue to be glorious (and that George Miller’s proposed sequels might actually get made in a timely manner). And as for the whole “moviegoers hate original ideas” thing, the Poltergeist remake, the week’s other big new release, came in at No. 4 with $27.7 million, but no one expected it to do that well anyway.
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.