LAS VEGAS — The world might be crumbling in the earthquake action thriller San Andreas, but Dwayne Johnson has a pretty great perch.
Friday’s opening comes during a particularly strong streak for The Rock. San Andreas, which casts him as a Los Angeles Fire Department rescue pilot, explodes in theaters even as his megahit Furious 7continues to roll at the box office.
Furious 7 has shown staying power, ranking eighth last weekend (with $2.8 million) and continuing to add to its staggering $1.5 billion worldwide.
Johnson says the already-hot Furious franchise was propelled to another level with the farewell to standout star Paul Walker, who died in a car crash on Nov. 30, 2013.
“It was a lot of different elements coming together at the same time, and the lead element being Paul, seeing him for the very last time,” Johnson told theater owners last month at the CinemaCon convention.
Still, Johnson added his own star power as Luke Hobbs, with Rentrak analyst PaulDergarabedian calling him “the ultimate box-office supercharger when added to the mix of existing franchises.”
In March, Johnson hosted Saturday Night Live, opening with a skit about being “franchise Viagra.” His films — including the G.I. Joe, Fast & Furious and Journey to the Center of the Earth franchises — have grossed nearly $5.7 billion, according to Rentrak.