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Tomorrowland tops slow Memorial Day weekend at box office

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It’s been a quiet Memorial Day weekend at the movies.

Tomorrowland opened to an estimated four-day total of only $41.7 million, a decidedly slow start for Disney’s latest sci-fi-adventure. No one was expecting Tomorrowland’s debut to compete with other big Disney franchises with established fan bases, especially because Disney had been fairly secretive about Tomorrowland’s plot ahead of its release. (Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, another movie based on a Disney theme park attraction, set the current Memorial Day opening record in 2007, bringing in $139.8 million over four days. But that was the third movie in a major franchise.) Still, most predictions had Tomorrowland bringing in at least $45 to $50 million over the four-day period.

Tomorrowland ended the weekend with only a slight lead over Pitch Perfect 2, which took in an estimated $38.5 million in its second weekend. The Barden Bellas have had an excellent run so far, and the sequel made more in its opening weekend than the first Pitch Perfect made in its entire theatrical run. Meanwhile, Mad Max: Fury Road has also been going strong in its second weekend, only dropping about 45 percent thanks to positive word of mouth and excellent reviews.

Poltergeist was the other big opening this weekend, bringing in an estimated $26.5 million, and its PG-13 rating attracted a young, predominantly female audience. The remake of the 1982 horror classic took a small lead over Avengers: Age of Ultron yesterday, but by the end of the weekend, it was Age of Ultron that pulled ahead. Even though Tomorrowland’s debut was pretty weak, Disney’s not in too bad of shape: Ultron brought in $27.8 million over the four-day period, and on Sunday, it hit a domestic total of $400 million.

All in all, the box office totals this weekend don’t come close to past Memorial Day numbers. Big openings from Fast & Furious 6 and The Hangover Part III set the Memorial Day weekend record in 2013, with $254.6 million over three days and $314.2 million over four.  This year’s totals are expected to come in around $154 million for three days and about $192 million with Monday added in.

Here are this weekend’s top five at the box office:

1. Tomorrowland — $41.7 million

2. Pitch Perfect 2 — $38.5 million

3. Mad Max: Fury Road — $32.1 million

4. Avengers: Age of Ultron — $27.8 million

5. Poltergeist — $26.5 million

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