‘Tomorrowland’ Box Office: New Disney Film Has Dismal Opening

While Disney’s Tomorrowland may claim the top spot at the box office over Memorial Day weekend, the numbers are not as high as analysts were expecting.

According to Variety, Tomorrowland opened with $32.2 million over the three-day weekend, and is expected to earn a total of $41 million after the Memorial Day holiday. Box office analysts had predicted the film would earn $40 million in its first three days of release, and would finish with $50 million overall. Tomorrowland is currently edging out last weekend’s champion, Pitch Perfect 2, which has accumulated $30.3 million, and is expected to bring in a grand total of $37.9 million.

The numbers may be disappointing, but the bigger picture is Tomorrowland may turn into a giant, box office dud for Disney. With a budget of $190 million, according to Box Office Mojo, the Brad Bird-directed family feature is going to have to fight in order to make profit. It won’t be an easy battle for it, either, with the release of Dwayne Johnson’s San Andreas next weekend.

What could be to blame for Tomorrowland’s weak box office opening? Scott Mendelson of Forbes writes that it was the “reviews and the cryptic marketing campaign.”

“The reviews revealed that what was behind the curtain wasn’t as wonderful as promised.”

Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times was one critic who was left disappointed by the film.

“I was hoping Tomorrowland would be that rare film appealing to multiple generations — but it feels too schmaltzy and preachy for the grown-ups, and a little rough and meandering for the kids to embrace.”

Bill Goodykoontz of the Arizona Republic says Tomorrowland does have its flaws, but there is still some appeal to it.

“This is truly one of those films where the less you know going in, the better. At times, you may wonder just how much you actually know on the way out, but that’s a different consideration.”

Deadline reports that this Memorial Day box office weekend is shaping up to earn a grand total of $151 million, which is worse than the 2010 total of $152 million. While most people have the holiday off from work and school, Deadline writers Anita Busch and Anthony D’Alessandro say studios should stick with releasing “mega frachinse sequels” during this time.

“Don’t try establishing a new brand; it’s just too risky.”

The only other film opening this weekend Tomorrowland was the horror remake, Poltergeist. Deadline reports that the Sam Rockwell-starring update is on track to earn $27.7 million.

[Image credit: Walt Disney Pictures via io9]