Seismic box office debut for San Andreas in United States

Dwayne Johnson, better know as The Rock, stars in San Andreas. -- PHOTO: GOLDEN VILLAGE PICTURES
Dwayne Johnson, better know as The Rock, stars in San Andreas. -- PHOTO: GOLDEN VILLAGE PICTURES

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Mega-disaster epic San Andreas lived up to its earth-shaking hype - at least at the box office - earning US$53.2 million (S$71.7 million) in ticket sales in its debut weekend early in the blockbuster summer season.

The big-budget visual spectacular by Warner Bros, whose title refers to the geological rift most likely to produce a massive California quake, stars Dwayne Johnson as a rescue helicopter pilot who teams up with his estranged wife to rescue their daughter after temblors unleash chaos on Los Angeles and San Francisco.

It rocked the weekend competition, according to box office tracker Exhibitor Relations estimates released Sunday, which showed that Pitch Perfect 2 was kept far behind at US$14.8 million in its second week in second place.

Starring Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson, the musical comedy sequel follows the fortunes of the Barden Bellas singing team as they chase international success after being banned from the competitive circuit.

Disney's Tomorrowland, the sci-fi adventure drama starring George Clooney which topped last weekend's box office, slipped to third, snatching US$13.8 million.

Mad Max: Fury Road, the fourth film of the iconic Mad Max franchise and the first in 30 years, took fourth position in the rankings, with US$13.6 million.

Slipping one spot to fifth was superhero blockbuster Avengers: Age of Ultron, with US$10.9 million, adding to its North American total of $427 million and its eyebrow-raising global haul of US$1.32 billion.

It was a sixth-place welcome for Aloha, the Hawaii-based romantic comedy starring Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone, and featuring a cascade of Hollywood heavyweights like Bill Murray and Alec Baldwin.

The Sony film, written by Cameron Crowe, drew US$10 million in its debut.

Poltergeist, a 3D remake of the 1982 horror classic about a family home haunted by evil forces that abduct a young girl, dropped two slots to seventh in its second week, earning US$7.8 million.

Rounding out the top 10 were the adaptation of Thomas Hardy's classic novel Far From the Madding Crowd, with US$1.4 million; comedy Hot Pursuit, with US$1.3 million; and animated children's movie Home, with US$1.1 million.

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