Ahh, Memorial Day. The sun is out, the burgers are on the grill, and many of us will spend the weekend in a dark movie theater. Memorial Day is usually one of the biggest box office weekends of the summer, when studios bring out the sequels to tried-and-true franchises like X-Men or Indiana Jones. This year, however, should be decidedly quieter, with only two major openings: Tomorrowland and Poltergeist, neither of which is expected to threaten any records.
Here are our predictions for the weekend. We’ll have our regular three-day numbers report on Sunday, and check back Monday for a deeper dive into the box-office hits and misses.
1. Tomorrowland — $49 million
Another Disney-theme-park-attraction-turned-movie set the Memorial Day opening record back in 2007, when Pirates of the Carribbean: At World’s End brought in $139.8 million over the four-day period. But that was the third film in an established series, and Tomorrowland doesn’t arrive with the same amount of name recognition. In fact, in the weeks leading up to its release, Tomorrowland’s been downright shrouded in secrecy. Still, it’s the biggest PG-rated action-adventure film that’s opened in weeks, and as one of the only kid-friendly movies in theaters, it should hit somewhere in the high 40s.
2. Pitch Perfect 2 — $40 million
Most films see a 50 percent drop in their second weekend, but Pitch Perfect 2 is not most films. Not only did it open to a whopping $69.2 million, well above predictions, but it made more in its opening weekend than the first Pitch Perfect made in its entire theatrical run. It’s hard to guess exactly what Pitch Perfect 2 will do in its second week, but most analysts are placing it somewhere around $40 million.
3. Mad Max: Fury Road — $30 million
Even though Pitch Perfect 2 dominated the box office last week, the latest Mad Max debuted with a solid $45.4 million. Phenomenal reviews and positive word of mouth should prevent too much of a drop in its second frame, and Mad Max is expected to bring in about $30 million this weekend.
4. Avengers: Age of Ultron — $28 million
Avengers: Age of Ultron is still laying to large crowds, even though it’s been eclipsed by other recent big openings. Most of its hype has died down since a huge opening weekend, but as Ultron enters its fourth week in theaters, predictions still have it making a solid $28 million.
5. Poltergeist — $25 million
It’s heeeere. The remake of the 1982 horror classic opens this weekend, and most are expecting it to make about $25 million. Reviews haven’t been great, but it should attract some diehard fans of the original, and its PG-13 rating should boost its numbers with younger audiences.