Weekend Wrap-Up: Monkeys Still in Business

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes poster

As expected, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes remained on top of the box office chart with a healthy lead over The Purge: Anarchy. Unfortunately, the other two wide releases, Planes: Fire and Rescue and Sex Tape were anything but healthy and that led to a weakening box office. It fell less than 1% from last weekend to $149 million. This was 24% lower than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2014 is now 5.6% or $340 million behind last year's pace at $5.79 billion to $6.13 billion. I think with summer wrapping up, it is close to the time to panic.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was a bright spot over the weekend, as it fell just 50% to $36.25 million over the weekend for a total of $139.21 million after ten days of release. At this pace, $200 million is a relatively safe bet, which is significantly more than the first film made. And since no movie this summer was able to crack $300 million, it will be one of the biggest hits of the summer as well. The studio should be very happy with this result.

Likewise, the studio should be happy with the opening of The Purge: Anarchy, which pulled in $29.82 million on just a $9 million production budget. This is not quite as strong as the original was, but its reviews are better, so it could last longer at the box office.

As expected, Planes: Fire and Rescue finished in third place, but its opening weekend was much softer than expected at $17.51 million. The reviews are merely mixed, but that is still better than the first film's reviews were, so the legs shouldn't be an issue. Additionally, as a spin-off of the Cars franchise, the box office numbers are almost immaterial, as these movies are all about the merchandizing.

Sex Tape was a miss with just $14.61 million during its opening weekend and with reviews that are only 20% positive, it likely won't last long in theaters. Worse still, films like this tend to struggle internationally, as comedy doesn't translate as well as action films do. It wasn't a super expensive movie to make costing just $40 million, so it might do well enough on the home market to break even, eventually.

Transformers: Age of Extinction held on better than expected with $9.85 million over the weekend for a total of $227.00 million after four weeks of release. It is losing theaters, but it might stick around long enough to overtake Captain American: The Winter Soldier as the biggest hit of the year. Might being the keyword.

Tammy also matched predictions with $7.40 million over the weekend for a total of $71.05 after three weeks of release. I was hoping the film would reach $100 million, but it will come close enough to be considered a hit.

The final new "wide" release was Persecuted, which bombed with just $851,000 in 736 screens over the weekend. It's per theater average was well below the Mendoza Line with an average of just $1,157. Add in the reviews, which are still 0% positive, and this film will be a disaster financially. It likely didn't cost a lot to make, so that's at least a little bit of some good news.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2014-07-22