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San Andreas (New Line and Warner Bros.), the latest movie starring Dwayne Johnson, is set to shake the box office this weekend with a $48 million dollar take, if it continues to stay on its present course. The science in it might not be the most accurate, despite them having, Dwayne Johnson stated in a recent interview on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, seismologists on hand who reviewed the script; but, that has not seemed to matter to the audiences who have flocked to see the movie.
In the movie, Dwayne Johnson plays Ray, a rescue helicopter pilot with the Los Angeles Fire Department who journeys with his ex-wife, Emma, played by actress Carla Gugino, in search of their teen daughter (Alexandra Daddario), in the midst of a “swarm” of earthquakes that have rocked the San Andreas fault line and have created mass destruction in California.
Paul Giamatti is a seismologist who sums up the devastation that the massive earthquakes are causing with the apt but rather simplistic phrase “this isn’t good.” That phrase has resulted in a person who wrote a review of the movie for Deadline to say that the phrase could also refer to “the script” of San Andreas. The script was written by Carlton Cuse, who was a writer/producer for the T.V. series, Lost.
San Andreas hearkens back to the disaster films of the 1970s, made famous by producers like Irwin Allen, responsible for flicks like The Poseidon Adventure, The Towering Inferno, and also director Mark Robson’s movie Earthquake from 1974, featuring actors like Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, and George Kennedy. San Andreas mainly focuses on one family which tries to survive despite the odds stacked up against them.
Besides a series of earthquakes that level L.A., San Andreas also features the destructive force of a giant tsunami that strikes in the wake of the quakes. After Ray rescues Emma from what remains of a skyscraper’s rooftop, they both go in search of their only remaining daughter. Their other daughter had drowned a few years previously. To reunite with their daughter, Ray and Emma have to somehow manage to journey to San Francisco in this Brad Peyton-directed movie.
CinemaScore gave San Andreas, which is set to shake the box office and earn possibly as much as $48 million its debut weekend domestically, a rating of an A-. The disaster movie starring Dwayne Johnson is Warner Brothers’ first Dolby Cinema release. Not counting the Fast & Furious franchise, the movie is Johnson’s highest earning movie domestically during its opening weekend. It is also his highest grossing movie ever in which he is the lead actor.
On Friday, internationally, San Andreas earned a respectable $13.5 million. The movie reportedly cost $110 million to produce, though, so it likely will not earn what it cost to produce it during its debut weekend out of the gate.
While the use in the movie San Andreas of the term “swarm” of earthquakes is not exactly accurate, one earthquake can trigger another one to occur, according to one of the U.S. Geological Survey’s seismologists Lucile Jones, in an interview with NPR. She stated that “distant triggering is actually a core part of the earthquake process.”
Pitch Perfect 2 will likely end up coming in second place at the box office this weekend, with an estimated domestic gross of $14.2 million. That, combined with what it has already earned, will bring it up to ticket sales of domestically almost $147 million in total.
At number three will be Tomorrowland, with a fall in ticket sales domestically of practically 60 percent. Even George Clooney cannot seem to bring in audiences to see this flick.
In fourth place at the box office, Mad Max: Fury Road is expected to have a domestic take of $12.7 million its third weekend out in theaters. By the end of Sunday, that should bring its overall domestic take to $115 million so far.
San Andreas will shake up the box office by coming in first place with a domestic take of approximately $48 million. That will make it actor Dwayne Johnson’s highest-grossing movie yet that has him as the male lead, which is good news for not only himself, but also for Warner Brothers. Though the movie does contain some inaccuracies, it is one that seismologist Lucile Jones and a group of other seismologists who saw the movie together, in her words, “all enjoyed.” It is an action-packed summer blockbuster that is attracting audiences seeking to enjoy two hours of special effects, mass devastation, and Dwayne Johnson.
Written By Douglas Cobb
Deadline: ‘San Andreas’ Review: Dwayne Johnson’s Heroics
Save Everything But The Script In This Disaster (Movie)
Hollywood Reporter: Box Office: ‘San Andreas’ Eyes
Seismic $48M Debut; ‘Aloha’ Bombing
NPR: Fact-Checking ‘San Andreas’: Are Earthquake Swarms For Real?
Photos Courtesy Warner Bros.