‘San Andreas’ shakes off competition in the U.S.

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‘San Andreas’ shakes off competition in the U.S.

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Dwayne “The Rock’’ Johnson out-muscled the competition at domestic movie theaters as the earthquake epic “San Andreas’’ hauled in an estimated $53.2 million over the weekend. It was Johnson’s biggest debut for a non-sequel as the top-billed actor, according to box office tracker Rentrak.

The action star helped the movie over-perform on the West Coast despite fears that audiences in earthquake-prone regions would stay away, said Dan Fellman, president of domestic distribution for Warner Bros., which distributed the film made by its New Line unit.

“Some people felt they’d be a little nervous watching such a disaster hit both Los Angeles and San Francisco, but there was a curiosity factor,’’ Fellman said. “They went, they packed the theaters and they liked it.’’

“Aloha,’’ the critically maligned romantic comedy from director Cameron Crowe, opened in sixth place with $10 million.

The movie was dogged by controversy. Leaked emails from former Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chair Amy Pascal last year labeled the “Aloha’’ script “ridiculous.’’ Then, some Native Hawaiian groups opposed the title as misappropriating the concept of the word. An Asian American group criticized the use of a nearly all-white cast in a film shot in Hawaii, a heavily Asian island chain.

A slew of critics slammed the movie - many calling it confusing, wondering if parts of it were missing, and saying it was Cameron’s worst film ever despite the all-star cast of Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone and Rachel McAdams. They combined to give it a Rotten Tomatoes score of just 17 percent.

For the year to date, box office revenues for theaters in the United States and Canada are up nearly 5 percent at $4.26 billion, while attendance is up more than 4 percent.

“San Andreas” opens in Korea on Wednesday. AP
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