San Andreas box office: $100 million domestic milestone today
As the old saying (sort of) goes: If you build it, they will come. Warner Bros. built a gigantic video game, called it San Andreas, and They have come to check out Dwayne Johnson perform miraculous deeds not seen since … George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road, released two weeks earlier.
Embraced by moviegoers, hungry for quality, original storylines and well-delineated characters – and with the assistance of 3D surcharges – the San Andreas movie debuted with $54.6 million from 3,777 theaters on its first weekend out (May 29-31) in North America. Down a perfectly acceptable 52 percent on its second weekend (June 5–7), the special effects-laden actioner collected an extra $25.8 million, trailing only the Melissa McCarthy-Jason Statham comedy Spy, (with $29.1 million) as found at boxofficemojo.com.
And that’s how this original movie – it’s not officially a remake, and it’s not even based on a comic strip, video game, or toy – will be reaching the $100 million milestone at the U.S. and Canada box office sometime today, Monday, June 8.
International box office trembles
Now, San Andreas’ domestic box office is (sort of) peanuts compared to its international take, where the Brad Peyton-directed cinematic catastrophe has raked in close to (an estimated) $158 million – $51 million of which in China alone, where the film opened last week.
As found at Deadline.com, San Andreas’ top international markets to date are:
- Mexico with $21.3 million.
- The U.K. with $12.9 million.
- Russia with $9.2 million.
- Brazil with $7.5 million.
- South Korea with $7.3 million.
- France with $5.3 million.
- Australia with $4.8 million.
- Argentina with $4.3 million.
Once again, movies such as San Andreas get made – with a(n official) price tag of $110 million (not including marketing and distribution expenses) – because of the international market.
Even taking into account the Hollywood studios’ usually less generous cut of their films’ international grosses, the majors wouldn’t be able to take the risk of investing nine figures on a movie if all they could count on were the American and Canadian markets.
Nowadays, mega-budget Hollywood movies like San Andreas are greenlit thanks to moviegoers in Shanghai, Mexico City, London, Moscow, and Seoul.
Recent Dwayne Johnson hits
Dwayne Johnson has two major 2015 international blockbusters to his credit. Besides San Andreas, back in April Johnson was one of the stars in James Wan’s Fast Seven, one of the movies in the seemingly endless Fast and Furious franchise also featuring Vin Diesel and the late Paul Walker. Fast Seven has taken in $1.51 billion worldwide – of which a relatively modest $350 million in the U.S. and Canada.
What should be noted, however, is that movies such as San Andreas and Fast Seven would have been global hits with just about any actor in the lead. After all, Dwayne Johnson has hardly been a major box office draw when not assisted by myriad stunts – like Hercules, a bomb in North America, but a hit elsewhere – and/or by mind-numbing (and tympanum-exploding) visual and sound effects.
San Andreas cast
Besides Dwayne Johnson – totally in control no matter what (John Wayne would have been literally shaking in his pants), but not nearly as cool as Geneviève Bujold (see editor’s comments below) – the 2015 San Andreas movie features the following:
Carla Gugino. Alexandra Daddario. Ioan Gruffudd. Archie Panjabi. Academy Award nominee Paul Giamatti (Cinderella Man). Hugo Johnstone-Burt. Art Parkinson. Will Yun Lee. Kylie Minogue. Colton Haynes. Todd Williams. Cameo by Ken Watanabe.
The San Andreas screenplay – yes, the film actually does have a script – is credited to Carlton Cuse (the TV series The Returned, Bates Motel, Lost), from a story by The Prince and Vice scribes Andre Fabrizio and Jeremy Passmore (also of Red Dawn).
Not that long ago, San Andreas director Brad Peyton worked with Dwayne Johnson on Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012). The somewhat surprisingly successful fantasy adventure also featured Vanessa Hudgens, Josh Hutcherson, Michael Caine, Luis Guzmán, and Kristin Davis.
Among Rotten Tomatoes‘ top critics, San Andreas has a surprisingly high 47 percent approval rating. That’s 47 percent, not 4.7 percent. And that says more about the state of film criticism – and/or about the state of Rotten Tomatoes’ “top critics” label – than about the film’s intrinsic qualities.
Having said that, perhaps the critics are being kind for a reason. After all, a movie like San Andreas will undeniably leave Californians feeling uplifted following years of enduring one of the worst economic crises in the state’s history and its very worst drought ever recorded.
San Andreas reminds everyone, whether in California and elsewhere, that things could always be worse. Much worse.
 Unfortunately, Box Office Mojo has lost quite a bit of its luster of late. The site, which used to be extremely detailed in its reporting, has been offering fewer updated and/or complete box office data.
Of note, Ray Subers left the IMDb-owned Box Office Mojo about two weeks ago. Subers had been their box office guru for five and half years.
Dwayne Johnson San Andreas movie images: Warner Bros.