Disney fantasy Tomorrowland, starring George Clooney as an inventor who travels with a teenage girl to a strange utopia, scored a disappointing $40.7m in its first four days to top the US box office at the weekend.
Directed by The Incredibles’ Brad Bird, the film is reported to have cost $180m to produce, a figure the studio may now struggle to see a return on with the film having also performed weakly outside North America. Globally, it has just £67.4m going into its second weekend.
Tomorrowland’s failure was immediately labelled a sign of Hollywood’s inability to produce successful original content by observers. Of the top 10 highest-grossing movies at the US box office in 2015 so far, six are sequels and three more are based on comic books, novels or fairy tales. Only Home, Dreamworks Animation’s tale of a young girl who befriends an alien visitor to Earth, could be cited as a genuinely original property.
Tomorrowland is another low point in Clooney’s career: the actor-director’s film The Monuments Men failed to win over audiences or critics last year.
Second place on the North American chart went to last week’s number one, the comedy sequel Pitch Perfect 2, with $30.3m in its second week. Elizabeth Banks’s film may yet emerge as the the top movie of the weekend once estimates are confirmed. Tomorrowland’s total for the same three-day period was only $32.2m – a whisker ahead.
Horror remake Poltergeist debuted in fourth space with a respectable $23m. The new version of Tobe Hooper’s celebrated 1982 chiller about a family who discover they are sharing their new home with a malevolent ghost stars Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt and Jared Harris.
Mad Max: Fury Road landed just ahead in third place, with another $23.8m in its second week for a two-week total of $87.3m. The top five was rounded out by superhero sequel The Avengers: Age of Ultron, with another $20.8m for a four-week total of $404m. Joss Whedon’s film also overtook Iron Man 3 to become the seventh highest-grossing film of all time globally, where it boasts a $1.263bn haul.
There were no other new movies in this week’s top 10.
US box office chart, 22-25 May
- Tomorrowland: $40.7m – new
- Pitch Perfect 2: $30.3m, $117.8m
- Mad Max: Fury Road: $23.8m, $87.3m
- Poltergeist: $23m – new
- Avengers: Age of Ultron: $20.8m, $404m
- Hot Pursuit: $3.4m, $28 .9m
- Far from the Madding Crowd: $2.2m, $5.4m
- Fast and Furious 7: $2.1m, $347m
- Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2: $1.7m, $65.5m
- Home: $1.6m, $167.9m
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