Weekend Wrap Up: “Age of Extinction” Brings Life to Box Office

If there’s any franchise out there that’s nigh completely critic proof, it’s the Transformers series. But one thing that even the mightiest franchises have difficulty fighting is franchise fatigue. It’s always difficult to keep the momentum up for four films, unless you’re the Fast and Furious series, but that one is just breaking all the rules. That said, Age of Extinction brought some much needed life to the box office, becoming the first film of the year to surpass $100 million (according to estimates) in its opening weekend.

Transformers: Age of Extinction

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Optimus Prime and the other autobots pulled in an impressive $100 million even this weekend. That beats our four $90 million openers this year as we finally crack the $100 million milestone, although the actual number will probably come in slightly below $100 million. Oh well. . That said, this debut is noticeably lower than previous Transformers movies. ROTF made $108 million in its opening weekend, but that was after opening on a Wednesday, so it had two days to burn up business before the weekend proper. Ditto for DOTM, which made $97 million in its first weekend after premiering on a Wednesday. So we clearly see the signs of franchise fatigue. Had AOE opened on a Wednesday, it probably wouldn’t have even cracked $90 million for the weekend proper.

As for where AOE goes from here….well, we know the critics hate it. That’s no surprise. But it seems like even general audiences and Transformers fans aren’t particularly enamored. On the plus side, AOE has a holiday weekend next week, so that should help soften its sophomore drop a little. That said, I really don’t expect good legs at all and I could see AOE ending up with as little as $230-240 million. For the sake of box office as a whole, I hope it can somehow find its way to $300 million. If this film falters, basically the entire summer will ride on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and to a lesser extent, Guardians of the Galaxy.

22 Jump Street stayed in second place, falling 44% to $15.4 million. The sequel has grossed $140 million so far and looks headed for a total around $175 million. Its sequel stablemate, How to Train Your Dragon 2 dropped 47% to $13.1 million. That brought that total to $121.8 million. It’ll likely finish around $150-160 million. Think Like a Man Too dropped a harsh 64% to $10.4 million. With $48.2 million in the bank, a final total around $70 million seems about right.

Maleficent just won’t go away. It dropped 36% and pulled in $8.2 million. It has now grossed $201.9 million, surpassing Godzilla and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in the process. Now I’m legitimately terrified it will surpass Days of Future Past. I do not want to live in a world where this crap out-grosses DOFP. Please, let’s not allow that to happen. If DOFP is still showing near you, go see it. Now that I’ve done my requisite rant about this film, we can move on.

Sixth went to Jersey Boys, which fell 43% to $7.6 million. It has amassed $27.4 million so far. Facing tough sci-fi competition from Transformers, Edge of Tomorrow dropped 47% to $5.2 million. Had it held a bit better this weekend, I’d say it would have a chance at $100 million, but with $84.2 million at this point, it’s more likely to finish around $95 million. The Fault in Our Stars fell 44% to $4.8 million. The romance flick has a $110 million total through four weeks.

Wolverine and his X-Men buddies finished in ninth this weekend, pulling in $3.3 million while falling 46%. DOFP has $223.4 million in the bank and I’m desperately hoping that’s enough to hold off Maleficent. Can you seriously imagine how unbelievably sad it would be if Maleficent was the highest grossing film of the summer? WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO?! On a less pessimistic note, Chef dipped just 3.2% to $1.67 million; it has a solid $19.4 million total.

Even the mightiest of franchises can’t maintain their momentum indefinitely, and this weekend showed that Transformers is not immune to that. Still, it looks to easily finish on top next weekend, as I seriously doubt Tammy, Earth to Echo or Deliver Us from Evil could top even $30 million. Following that, we get quite possibly the last hope to salvage this summer, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes on July 11. Caesar, you can’t get here soon enough.

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