I know you saw ‘Stand By Me’. Now skin it.
It looks like my prediction came true when I acknowledged to others during the week that Dawn of the Planet of the Apes would repeat as the top box office draw for the weekend. For a summer that had failed to have a film retain the #1 spot two weeks running we’ve seen it occur two times in a row with Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age of Extinction and now Apes. Falling only 50%, which is a very good hold for a blockbuster release in its second weekend, the film finished the weekend with an estimated $36 million. In two weeks it has reached $138m domestically and now has its sights set on getting to $200 million.
Spots two through four on the list are reserved for the three newcomers that had aspirations to be first, but ultimately were no match for those damn dirty apes. The best performer was Universal’s The Purge: Anarchy, a sequel to last summer’s surprise hit, The Purge. Though it failed to exceed the former’s opening weekend, the sequel did finish $28.4m, which is a good result considering it only cost $9 million and expectations (it was more critically favored than either Sex Tape or Planes: Fire & Rescue, go figure). If Fire & Rescue had come out fifteen years ago it would be a direct-to-video sequel that Disney would have released to cash in on the middling success of Planes. But in today’s dollars and cents, a cheap sequel to what was a spin-off of Pixar’s Cars gets a theatrical release and the outcome was $18m gained from mothers and fathers taking the kids to the movies.
As for Sex Tape, the reunion of Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel and Bad Teacher director Jake Kasden wasn’t enough to entice viewers to see what was best referred to as “meh” from critics and word and mouth. A $15 million opening for a $40m comedy is rough-going and it will likely exit the top 10 sooner rather than later, only to show up in the Black Friday ads I’m sure.
Transformers: Age of Extinction drops all the way from first to fifth, but it did take in another $10 million to push its domestic sum to $227.1m. That number is far below the $300+ million the first three Transformers movies have made, but the bigger story is how the film is playing to the hilt overseas. Worldwide this fourth installment in the series is the highest grossing movie of 2014 as it approaches $900 million! In China alone the movie has made $285.7m. With international totals accounting for nearly 70% of most major blockbusters, pretty soon we may have box office reports that present totals from U.S., China, and the rest of the world.
Melissa McCarthy’s Tammy has become a slow-starter in terms of earnings having what looked to have been a death sentence opening on Fourth of July weekend. It has steadily grossed $71 million. 22 Jump Street has made it to $180m. Even though the ending credits teased it to be the end of the franchise, with that total I’m not so sure. A sequel to Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent is assured considering it is edging closer to $700m worldwide, and Angelina Jolie has once again shown she can be a force when it comes to getting butts in the seats.
Outside of the top 10, the focus was on the limited release of Richard Linklater’s Boyhood. Expanding from five theaters to 33 in its second weekend, the coming-of-age time capsule drama grossed an impressive $1.19m with a per-screen average of $36,303 (which is a better PSA than the top 7 films at the box office combined). The IFC Films release has already outgrossed the likes of A24’s The Rover and Enemy with Under the Skin to likely fall by this time next week. With strong critical acclaim and positive word of mouth, this could become IFC’s biggest release since 2002’s Y Tu Mama Tambien ($13.8m).
01. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes — $36,000,000 ($138.9m)
02. The Purge: Anarchy — $28,369,000
03. Planes: Fire & Rescue — $18,000,000
04. Sex Tape — $15,000,000
05. Transformers: Age of Extinction — $10,000,000 ($227.1m)
06. Tammy — $7,605,000 ($71.2m)
07. 22 Jump Street — $4,700,000 ($180.5m)
08. How to Train Your Dragon 2 — $3,800,000 ($160.6m)
09. Maleficent — $3,302,000 ($228.3m)
10. Earth to Echo — $3,260,000 ($31.9m)
Tags: box office, Boyhood, Dawn of the Planet of the APes, Sex Tape, The Purge: Anarchy