Warner Bros. is already looking forward to a huge year in 2015, when they’ll unleash their Batman vs. Superman superhero smash-up into the world, and they’re bolstering their confidence that they don’t only need huge franchises in order to rake in the summer blockbuster box office. The studio has given a prime June 5 opening date to their upcoming disaster action flick San Andreas, which will star Dwayne Johnson as a guy who will hopefully stop an earthquake from happening by punching it into submission, though I don’t think that’s how the story will go.
San Andreas will be directed by Brad Peyton, who teamed up with Johnson to earn Warner over $335 million worldwide with 2012’s Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, a film that opened in the February release graveyard. It stands to reason them teaming up on a summer tentpole could shake up all of the competition. At this point, according to BoxOfficeMojo, they’re only going head-to-head with DreamWorks Animation’s B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations with Seth Rogen and Melissa McCarthy, so while the younger kids are watching that, the grown-ups can watch Johnson jump over rubble in a jovial way.
That’s of course assuming people aren’t still flocking to theaters to see Brad Bird’s mysterious fantasy Tomorrowland or Paul Feig’s next comedy Susan Cooper. Audiences might even still be throwing their money at Avengers: Age of Ultron, which will have been out a month by the time San Andreas comes out; and Jurassic World is already set to come out on June 12, which will almost certainly cut into its early earnings.
It’ll depend on how strong the film is, and how good word of mouth will be, I suppose. Johnson will star as a helicopter pilot who has to track down his daughter in the aftermath of a devastating quake rocking the California coast. Any disaster movie outside of Roland Emmerich’s hands gets immediate interest out of me, and I’m hoping there’s a strong script, which has gone from a first draft written by Andrew Fabrizio (Special) and Jeremy Passmore (Red Dawn) to a rewrite from The Conjuring scribes Chad and Carey Hayes. At one point Lost’s Carlton Cuse was attached to write a draft as well.
What’s pretty interesting is that following the release of Warner’s Mad Max: Fury Road on May 15, the next three weeks feature completely original films that aren’t tied to remakes, reboots or sequels; Paramount’s animated adventure Monster Trucks is also set to be released then. You can bet that this anomaly will change by the time 2015 actually gets here, but it’s a rare sight to see regardless, especially in a year that is being built on recognized franchises, with more James, Terminator, Star Wars and Hunger Games all leading the non-superhero box office chatter.
Do you guys think San Andreas stands a good chance against the competition?