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"Aloha" and "San Andreas" Box Office Predictions and Results

Updated on September 23, 2015

UPDATE 6/1/2015

Aloha did a belly flop at the box office with an estimated $10 million this past weekend. My models currently project a final gross of about $31.5 million, meaning the film will recoup less than half of its $65 million production budget.

San Andreas on the other hand performed better than the weekend and early projections by earning an estimated $53.2 million. The film is also doing incredibly well overseas and will at least make a worldwide total of $500 million, but most likely it will make much more than that mark. The domestic gross will be around $163 million depending on how well the film fairs in the following weeks.

The Rock in San Andreas
The Rock in San Andreas | Source
Bradley Cooper in Aloha
Bradley Cooper in Aloha | Source

Article Originally published 5/20/2015

The final weekend of May will see the release of the romantic comedy Aloha and the action/disaster film San Andreas, both open on May 29th. Aloha is a particularly special movie, its directed and written by Cameron Crow. I call it special because this could be Cameron Crow’s first really good outing since 2005, that wasn’t a documentary or We Bought a Zoo. It has an amazing cast headlined by Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams and also features Bill Murray, John Krasinski, Alec Baldwin and Danny McBride. Aloha is about a military contractor played by Cooper, who returns to Hawaii, meets up with his ex-flame and falls for an Air Force watchdog assigned to him played by Stone. With an all-star cast and Bradley Cooper’s first film since American Sniper, could spurn interest in this romantic comedy.

For San Andreas I have two words, earthquakes and The Rock. Dwayne Johnson plays a helicopter rescue pilot that must save his daughter during a massive earthquake outbreak that devastates the cities along the San Andreas Fault including Las Angeles and San Francisco. This will be definitely the guilty pleasure of the summer along the lines of so absurd it can work, kind of like the movie 2012. San Andreas also, features Paul Giammatti who plays a seismologist that attempts to warn the city of the pending doom. I just can’t wait for the eventual Rifftrax soundtrack on this one.

Though both of the films trailers paint a wonderful picture, with Aloha showing off its beautiful location and San Andreas’ action and destruction scenes set to a kind of cool rendition of California dreams, both films are trending a little flat. Aloha’s most recent projections have it flopping and San Andreas doing kind of ok here in the states. For both, films I’ve found very little public interest in them. A lot, of this disinterest may have a more to do with the amount of big established titles coming out this summer and they’ve just been lost in the mix. There could be another issue at play, 2015 is a freakish year where the films do not follow typical trends and thus far a lot of the projections have been far off. These two movies could turn out to be huge successes in spite of what the raw data and intuition say’s.


Possible trends for Aloha.
Possible trends for Aloha.


At first the prospects for Aloha seamed good and it was destined for great things with the star power of Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, and director Cameron Crow. Early projections had the film opening with $28 million and grossing a solid $85 million. The fortunes for Aloha have not held out and now looks like it will only gross about $55 million. This is due to the apparent lack of interest in the film. Current projections have the movie opening around $22 million and using that as a baseline, here are what some of my models suggest could happen with it.

Using the last five years of trends, if the film does open with $22 million it could go on to gross $74 million. Another possible outcome using the same trends, but if the film underperforms by grossing just $55 million, the film could open with a very dismal and disappointing $16 million. I’ve found that using the last five years a good baseline to used, because if reflects more accurately what current films typically do at the box office.

I also, used the typical trends of movies rated PG-13. Using that model and having it open at $22 million the end gross could be upwards of $79 million. Alternately with this same model Aloha may only open with $15 million. With interest low in this case the higher numbers don’t seam likely, but the film could perform well after positive word of mouth if there is any in store for the film. The film should open somewhere between $16 to 23 million. The final gross should fall between $51 and $69 million. I’m not too familiar with the plans for Aloha’s international distribution and it’s possible that after a poor showing in North America, distribution could be limited. Typical trends for international box office is over 50 percent of the total worldwide gross, meaning that the film could double on what it makes domestically. Aloha could end up with a grand worldwide total over $122 million. My prediction for this film is a poor opening of $20 and a domestic gross of just $45 million.

San Andreas

Possible trends for San Andreas
Possible trends for San Andreas

San Andreas

The most recent projections for San Andreas have it opening at $29 million and grossing $80 million. For a film that cost well over $150 million this outcome would be incredibly bad, but the real box office power of this film is in the international market. The 2009 film 2012 is probably a good comparison to this film, since they are both big budget “high concept” disaster flicks. When it came out, 2012 also seamed that the interest was low, but it ended up opening with a solid $65 million and grossed domestically $166 million on its $280 million budget. Seams as if the result is disappointing for 2012, but worldwide it made $791 million. San Andreas will probably do the same thing, but not as high. If San Andreas opens with $29 million and follows the trends of 2012, it would gross $74 million and $351 million worldwide.

I went ahead and started my models based on $29 million even though this number is over a month old and a little low in my opinion. Compared with other PG-13 movies, San Andreas could end up grossing $104 million, but it could also open as low as $22 million to still make $80 million. Using typical May opening trends, San Andreas could gross up to $88 million. Either way, all the models suggest the film grossing anywhere from $204 to $351 million worldwide.

If the old projections are correct San Andreas should open between $25 to $34 million, gross $73 to $99 million domestically, and gross $230 to $312 million worldwide. My prediction for the film is a little bit kinder to the film. I think San Andreas will open with at least $40 million, gross at least $100, and make grand total of $400 million worldwide.

For both Aloha and San Andreas, the prospects do not seam all that great, more so for Aloha. As I mentioned toward the beginning of this article, 2015 is freakish year and projections have been off every week and even the projections for the individual weekends have been way off. Both of these films projections could also be suffering from the way the box office has been the last few years, where the sequels have been given the best prospects over the non-established titles like these two films.

UPDATE 5/29/2015

As expected Aloha is trending to be a flop and is suffering from extremely poor reviews. San Andreas on the other hand also has poor reviews though they do praise the special effects, but this was not unexpected. Current audience score on show 63% out of 24,787 users liked the film. This relatively good audience score for San Andreas gives the film plenty of life of good word of mouth and potential to succeed. Look for San Andreas to bow at the number one spot at the box office around $40 million and Aloha to premier disappointingly at the number five spot with $14 million.


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