It was not a vintage Independence Day weekend at the U.S. box office. The cumulative gross of the 96 films on release amounted to the lowest total for the 4th of July weekend in 15 years. In first place, Transformers: Age of Extinction became the first film to hold onto the top spot since April's Captain America: The Winter Soldier, as none of the major new releases broke out.
1. Transformers: Age of Extinction ($37,050,185)
Who knows whom to believe about Age of Extinction's gross last weekend, but there seems to be no arguing about its second weekend gross. This 63% drop is standard for the franchise, which is typically very front-loaded, though this third sequel remains on track to become the lowest grosser in the popular series to date, and by a sizeable amount. All the same, its whopping takings in China, where the film's final act is set, have seen it take the title of the highest grossing film of all time after a mere few days in theatres, so don't expect Paramount to back out of a further few installments just yet.
2. Tammy ($21,577,049)
A $33.3 million haul since its Wednesday opening marks a middling start for Melissa McCarthy's poorly-reviewed comedy. Audiences still seem to like the comic actor, though not her latest star vehicle, which has received a C+ CinemaScore. Furthermore, this five-day opening is lower than the three-day openings for both Identity Thief and The Heat.
3. 22 Jump Street ($9,803,332)
4. Deliver Us from Evil ($9,740,471)
Sony ScreenGems' horror film narrowly missed out on the third place slot, though its opening - $15.3 million since Wednesday - remains a disappointment either way. Marketing was cut back on after negative critical responses, and this mediocre figure has resulted. Supernatural horror had a fantastic 2013, but continues to have a risible 2014.
5. How to Train Your Dragon 2 ($8,961,088)
6. Earth to Echo ($8,364,658)
Not even a child-friendly angle could save Earth to Echo from the current curse on found footage films. This was showing in more cinemas than Deliver Us from Evil, which makes its per-theatre average considerably lower. $13.6 million since Wednesday already makes the Relativity release its budget back, however.
7. Maleficent ($6,159,176)
8. Jersey Boys ($5,155,145)
9. Think Like a Man Too ($4,874,105)
10. Edge of Tomorrow ($3,660,337)
33. Life Itself ($131,411)
With an internet release, Life Itself was never going to be able to tally massive theatrical figures for the weekend. Steve James' well-reviewed documentary seems to be finding its audience pretty effectively, though.
After a weekend with very little action, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will look to increase significantly on its highly successful predecessor; good reviews ought to buoy strong grosses. In five theatres, expect Richard Linklater's Boyhood to chart the highest per-theatre average of any film yet this summer by far.