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Weekend Report: 'Transformers' Repeats On Weak Independence Day Weekend

by Ray Subers
Transformers: Age of Extinction
 

 
July 6, 2014

Transformers: Age of Extinction easily held on to first place at the box office over a very slow Fourth of July weekend.

Melissa McCarthy's Tammy did fine business in second place, while Deliver Us From Evil and Earth to Echo flopped.

The Top 12 earned a combined $120.6 million this weekend. That's down a massive 46 percent from last year, when Despicable Me 2 and The Lone Ranger opened. In fact, it's the worst Independence Day weekend since 1999 ($116.5 million).

That's a horrible way to kick off the ever-important month of July, and all-but-guarantees that this is going to be one of the lowest-grossing Summer seasons in the past decade.

Transformers: Age of Extinction
plummeted 63 percent to an estimated $37.1 million. Without any serious competition, Transformers became the first movie since Captain America: The Winter Soldier to repeat in first place.

So far, Age of Extinction has earned $175.4 million, and is trailing the last two Transformers movies by a wide margin. Based on its current trajectory, it's likely that this winds up between $245 million and $265 million.

In second place, Tammy opened to $21.2 million ($33.3 million five-day). That's a bit lower than We're the Millers, which earned $37.9 million in its first five days. Tammy's five-day opening was also lower than the three-day start for 2013 Melissa McCarthy movies The Heat and Identity Thief.

Still, this is a solid start for the poorly-reviewed comedy. Typically, a comedy needs a strong, clear premise to really break out; the fact that Tammy cleared $30 million in five days without an obvious hook suggests that McCarthy really is one of the biggest comedy stars at the moment.

Tammy
may have a tough time in the long run, though. The movie received a horrible "C+" CinemaScore, which indicates word-of-mouth won't be particularly good. Odds are that this ultimately winds up around $70 million.

Deliver Us From Evil
took third place with $9.7 million. Its $15.3 million five-day gross is less than what director Scott Derrickson's last movie (Sinister) earned on opening weekend in late 2012.

The supernatural thriller initially seemed like a strong counterprogramming play: the first trailer had some great scares, and there was truly nothing like it in theaters this Summer. Unfortunately, 2014 seems to be the year in which moviegoers are finally tiring of exorcism movies. Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, Devil's Due and The Quiet Ones all performed poorly, and Deliver Us From Evil has now joined that club.

According to Sony, the movie's audience was 51 percent male and 51 percent were 25 years of age or older. Horror movies don't typically hold well, and with a "B-" CinemaScore this one should be no different: it would be surprising if this got past $35 million.

22 Jump Street
fell 38 percent to $9.8 million. To date, the comedy sequel has earned a very impressive $159.3 million. How to Train Your Dragon 2 rounded out the Top Five with just under $9 million (down 32 percent). The DreamWorks Animation sequel has now taken in a disappointing $140.2 million.

Earth to Echo
debuted in sixth place with $8.4 million ($13.6 million five-day). That's one of the worst opening yet for a movie using "found footage"; it's roughly on par with notorious horror flops Apollo 18 and Devil's Due. This seems to suggest that, five years after Paranormal Activity, this particular technique has finally worn out its welcome.

According to distributor Relativity, Earth to Echo's audience was 54 percent female and 52 percent under the age of 25. With an "A-" CinemaScore, the movie could hold decently next weekend, though Planes: Fire & Rescue is well-positioned to take the family audience the following week.

At 1,105 locations, Dinesh D'Souza's America opened outside of the Top 10 with $2.74 million ($4 million five-day). That's less than half of 2016: Obama's America's $6.5 million debut in August 2012. Even with an "A+" CinemaScore, it won't hold up as well as Obama's America; ultimately, it would be surprising if it earned half of that movie's $33.5 million total.

In limited release, John Carney's Begin Again expanded to 175 locations and earned a very good $1.26 million. Meanwhile, Snowpiercer grossed just over $1 million from 250 locations, and is set for a VOD release this upcoming Friday.

Around-the-World Roundup


Without adding any new markets, Transformers: Age of Extinction still wound up dominating the international box office with $95.8 million. It has now earned $400.9 million, which is up 21 percent on Dark of the Moon across the same bucket of territories.

That entire increase can be attributed to China, where the movie added $50.9 million this weekend for an incredible total of $212.8 million (yes, that's over $35 million more than it's made in the U.S.). Early this week, it will pass Avatar ($217.7 million) to become the highest-grossing movie ever in China.

Next weekend, Transformers: Age of Extinction expands in to the U.K., Mexico and a handful of smaller markets. A final total north of $700 million is a guarantee at this point, and it could even eclipse $800 million.

How to Train Your Dragon 2
added $33.5 million this weekend, which brings its foreign total to $152.6 million. It took first place in France with $7.5 million, which ranks second this year among U.S. titles. The DreamWorks Animation sequel still has the U.K., Germany, Italy, Spain, South Korea and China on the way.

Maleficent
earned $17.3 million this weekend. A big chunk of that came in Japan, where it opened in first place with an impressive $7.1 million. It took the top spot away from fellow Disney fantasy Frozen, which had held on to first for 16 weeks in a row. Movies typically hold well in Japan, which means Maleficent could be in for a very strong run here. To date, the movie has earned $416.3 million overseas, and could eventually approach $500 million.

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This Weekend's Forecast:
Forecast: 'Transformers' to Take Out 'Tammy' Over July 4th Weekend

This Weekend in Past Years:
2013 - 'Despicable' Defeats 'Ranger' Over Busy Fourth of July
2012 - 'Spider-Man' Swings High But Falls Short of Predecessors
2011 - 'Transformers' Claims Independence Gross Record
2010 - 'Eclipse' Swoons But Sweeps Up Over Independence Day
2009 - 'Tranformers' Fends Off 'Ice Age' in Close Independence Weekend
2007 - Moviegoers Spark to 'Transformers'
2006 - 'Pirates' Raid Record Books
2005 - 'War of the Worlds' Booms on Independence Day

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