The natural disaster movie staring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson raked in $53.2 million over the weekend, surpassing analyst estimates. The story sees the former wrestler playing a heroic helicopter pilot who battles to save his daughter from the rubble of a California quake.
The earthquake movie saw the biggest ticket sales on the West Coast from cities near a fault line, with Los Angeles and San Francisco grossing highest in the North American region. It was also the biggest ever movie opening for Johnson in a non-sequel and a lead role, following his performance in Universal's Furious 7.
Sony Pictures (SNE) came in at number six with Cameron Crowe's Aloha starring Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone and Rachel McAdams. The romantic movie set in Hawaii was panned by critics, and took a lower-than-expected $10 million at the box office. The movie also became a subject of embarrassment following leaked emails from Sony's hack scandal last year. Former studio chief Amy Pascal slammed the production for its casting and script. Aloha also came under fire for sidelining Hawaiian actors.
Pitch Perfect 2 from Universal pictures remained in second place taking in $14.8 million over the weekend and Disney's (DIS) Tomorrowland placed third. The futuristic fantasy movie starring George Clooney has seen a 58% decline in ticket sales following its sluggish opening weekend performance. With its hefty $180 million budget, Tomorrowland has under performed both domestically and worldwide. In 75 international markets, including China, the movie took $29.3 million, taking its international total to roughly $70 million.