Dwayne Johnson's "San Andreas" has delivered a dominating $53.2 million opening weekend at 3,777 U.S. locations, soaring past recent forecasts of a $40 million launch for the Warner Bros.-New Line 3D disaster pic.
"San Andreas" took in more than five times as much as the $10 million opening of Sony's romantic comedy "Aloha," which arrived at 2,815 sites amid extensive negative buzz — despite the star power of Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone and Rachel McAdams.
Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak, noted that "San Andreas" gained momentum throughout the weekend due to the film delivering what he called "pure popcorn movie excitement."
"Johnson is clearly one of the most bankable stars working today," he said.
Universal's third weekend of "Pitch Perfect 2" led the rest of the pack, finishing with $14.8 million at 3,660 locations. The comedy sequel, which carries a modest $29 million price tag, has outperformed expectations with a total of $147.5 million in 17 days in the U.S. with another $80 million-plus internationally.
Disney's second frame of George Clooney's "Tomorrowland" finished at a close third with $13.8 million for a $63.2 million 10-day total. The high-priced fantasy, with a $180 million budget, isn't showing much traction with a 58 percent decline from its opening weekend.
"Tomorrowland" edged Warner's third weekend of "Mad Max: Fury Road," which motored to $13.6 million at 3,255 sites. The Tom Hardy-Charlize Theron tentpole declined 45 percent and has totaled $115.9 million in the U.S in 17 days.
Disney-Marvel's fifth weekend of "Avengers: Age of Ultron" finished fifth, ahead of "Aloha," with $10.9 million at 3,228 sites, declining 50 percent.
"Ultron" took in $17.6 million overseas to push its international total to $894 million and its worldwide take to $1.32 billion, the sixth highest total of all time.