The film, which stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, knocked last week’s top film Tomorrowland, which debuted with $40.7m (£26.7m), into third place. Pitch Perfect 2 was at number two and Mad Max: Fury Road was fourth. Avengers: Age of Ultron – 2015’s biggest US film so far – was fifth.[contentblock id=1 img=adsense.png]
The Marvel comic film has so far taken $427m (£280m) at the US box office. Dan Fellman, head of domestic distribution for Warner Bros, which distributed San Andreas Movie, said: “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.”[contentblock id=2 img=adsense.png]
Box office tracker Rentrak said it was also Johnson’s biggest debut for a non-sequel as the top-billed actor. The film also features Kylie Minogue, as the sister of one of the key characters, Emma, played by Carla Gugino. Cameron Crowe’s rom-com Aloha, starring starring Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams and Bill Murray was in sixth place.[contentblock id=3 img=adsense.png]
Despite its stellar cast the film’s reviews have not been particularly positive and it was in the spotlight last year after leaked emails from Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chair Amy Pascal said its script was “ridiculous”. Some native Hawaiian groups opposed the title; while an Asian-American group slated the use of a nearly all-white cast in a film shot in Hawaii.
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Rory Bruer, Sony Pictures Entertainment’s president of worldwide distribution, said the film did “well enough with women aged 25-34 to overcome the negative buzz”, adding that the film, which took $10m (£6.5m), cost about $37m (£24m) to make. So far this year, US and Canadian box office takings are up nearly 5% at $4.26bn (£2.8bn), while attendance is up more than 4%.