Weekend Wrap Up: All Hail Caesar

In this era of one and done blockbusters, it’s becoming increasingly rare for any movie to stay on top for more than weekend, especially during the busy summer season. You generally need a competition of good reception and weak competition. Well, this weekend provided both those ingredients, as three new wide releases could not prevent Dawn of the Planet of the Apes from repeating atop the chats.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

A chimp brandishes an automatic rifle while astride a rearing horse.

Falling a very respectable 50%, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes pulled in $36 million weekend. That’s a noticeably better hold than most other blockbusters this year, although DOTPOTA also opened on a lower scale than those films. Still, its second weekend is higher than the sophomore frames of Godzilla, X-Men: Days of Future Past and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, all of which opened significantly higher. With $139 million in the bank, $200 million is a lock, but it’s still hard to tell how much higher DOTPOTA can go. It does face competition from action audiences next weekend with Hercules and Lucy. I’ll say DOPTOTA ends up around $215-220 million.

A year ago, The Purge came out of nowhere and opened above $30 million….then proceeded to crash and burn. I expected the sequel to struggle to crack $15 million in its opening weekend, but it looks like The Purge: Anarchy is the film people wanted the first one to be and as a result it stopped the bleeding a bit and managed a still very strong $28.4 million. And with a low budget, this one will easily be quite profitable. It’s also very possible it surpasses the total of the first film, despite opening lower.

Speaking of sequels to poorly-received films, Planes: Fire and Rescue couldn’t even match the opening of its predecessor and managed just $18 million. Considering the entire movie is just a literal toy commercial, that’s a fine result as I’m sure enough parents will spend  money on merchandise to cover whatever this move loses at the box office. Our third opener, Sex Tape, pulled in only $15 million. The production budget wasn’t exorbitantly high at $40 million, but there’s no way to spin this; it’s just a really poor opening. Hell, even Cameron Diaz’s The Other Woman easily opened higher earlier this year.

Falling 39%, Transformers: Age of Extinction pulled in $10 million to lift its total to $227.2 million. It’s still a huge drop off from the first three flicks, but it should finish around $245 million and claim the summer crown, which is a rather dubious distinction in a summer as awful as this one. Anyways, Tammy dropped 39% and grossed $7.6 million. It has a solid total of $71.3 million, which makes absolutely no sense since both critics and audiences hated this movie. Go figure.

Holding very well, 22 Jump Street eased just 28% and grossed $4.7 million. It has a total of $180.5 million and will likely end up around $195 million. How to Train Your Dragon 2 followed in eighth place, grossing $3.8 million after declining 37%. The disappointing total stands at $160.7 million. The movie that cannot go away soon enough, Maleficent, posted yet another inexplicably strong hold, easing 21% to $3.3 million. With three new wide releases next week, this should finally leave the top ten. With $228.4 million, it will soon surpass DOFP for the summer crown, but it will in turn be passed by AOE. Thank you, Optimus Prime. You are my hero.

We wrap up the top ten with Earth to Echo, which dropped 41% to $3.3 million, bringing its sum to $32 million. This weekend was pretty typical as far as 2014, especially the summer has gone. Full of disappointments and largely unremarkable. I’m thrilled DOTPOTA actually had a good hold. It deserves it and it’s about time for something other than Maleficent to have good legs. Next week will bring us And So it Goes, which I would be shocked to see break $10 million, as well as a battle between testosterone and estrogen with Lucy and Hercules. Right now, it looks like the edge is going to Lucy, but I don’t think either one will break $25 million. That about does it for this week. Until we meet again.

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