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Dwayne Johnson's Rampage is this weekend's major release and, while the weekend is just getting started, last night's preview screenings have gotten the giant monster movie off to a solid, if not impressive, start. Rampage brought in $2.4 million last night, which put well ahead of this weekend's other wide release Truth or Dare, but it was also significantly behind the preview total for the last action movie Johnson made with director Brad Peyton, the disaster movie San Andreas.
While Rampage's $2.4 million is nothing to sneeze at, it's a bit behind the $3.1 million that San Andreas brought in during the summer of 2015. That film was the rare action blockbuster not tied to an existing property of some kind. One would expect that Rampage, being based on a fairly well-known video game, would get something of a boost from the association. Although, Deadline says that the majority of those in the theaters last night appear to have been on the young side, and the 12 to 16-year-old demo, which apparently is looking to be the group most interested in Rampage, doesn't actually have a nostalgic association to the game, as it was released in arcades in 1986.
The Rampage arcade game was classic quarter muncher which had players take control of one of three giant monsters and gain points by destroying buildings and eating people. The new movie sees three animals mutated into massive creatures, one of which is looked after by primatologist Dwayne Johnson.
Rampage is expected to net somewhere in the $30-$40 million range over the course of the weekend, which will likely put it ahead of A Quiet Place which will be in its second weekend. Rampage certainly will be no Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, which was recently recognized as the highest grossing movie in the history of Sony Pictures. Since Welcome to the Jungle opened on a Wednesday during the holiday season there are no Thursday previews to compare to Rampage.
If the word of mouth coming out of Rampage's first weekend is solid the movie does have a chance to put together a strong second weekend. Rampage moved its release up a week following Avengers: Infinity War doing the same. This kept a weekend between the two films where no major studio tentpoles are being released. It's possible that some of the potential audience is waiting to see how the simple arcade title actually translates to the screen. If the audience buzz is positive, and so far it is (Rotten Tomatoes is giving the film an 81% audience rating as of this writing) people might give the movie a chance next weekend. Once Avengers: Infinity War arrives on April 27, there's a good chance the rest of the multiplex is going to be overlooked for a while.