Tuesday, 22 July 2014


The summer's best-reviewed blockbuster yet is also its best-holding yet, as Dawn of the Planet of the Apes fends off considerable competition with ease. Three major new releases all disappointed in one way or another, though prospects for only two of the three look at all positive. As July begins to wind up before a hefty first weekend in August, the month's box office trails last year's by a whopping 30%.

1. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes ($36,254,310)
A drop of 50% on last weekend's haul is impressive for Fox's sequel, as it continues to shape up into one of the season's strongest performers. Good word-of-mouth seems to be materialising, as the franchise's first film, Rise of the Planet of the Apesdipped a similar 49% on its second weekend on a lower opening figure.

2. The Purge: Anarchy ($29,816,675)
Universal might not be too pleased that their sequel to last year's breakout hit failed to match its opening weekend gross, but signs for Anarchy aren't so bad. The film held better through the weekend than The Purgeposting stronger numbers on its first Sunday, and is thus gaining ground. Strangely, it gained first place on Friday over Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, draining that film's grosses somewhat, to the extent that it managed a remarkable surge on its second Saturday. The lower opening gross than the first film can be attributed to the negative reaction that it was so poorly-received by audiences; if Anarchy continues to hold better than that film, it could out-gross it.

3. Planes: Fire and Rescue ($17,509,407)
Last summer's Planes movie was a spin-off of Pixar's Cars, which itself had a badly-performing sequel. It was intended to go straight to DVD, but pulled in decent grosses in cinemas, so this further spin-off was also rolled out onto the big screen. As has proven to be the case with many animated sequels in recent years, it has failed to match its predecessor's opening - down 21%, in fact. With an extremely high proportion of the audience being families, and a very light slate for family fare this summer, expect this to hold decently over the coming weeks, though a further sequel looks unlikely, and not even How to Train Your Dragon 2 could capitalise on the lack of competition, so don't get your hopes up for this one.

4. Sex Tape ($14,608,152)
Sony obviously knew they were holding a giant bomb with Sex Tape: its marketing was lighter than usual for a major Cameron Diaz comedy. Bad reviews precluded this bad gross, which is less than half that of stars' and director Jake Kasdan's Bad Teacher, and even lower than another comedy flop from earlier this season, A Million Ways to Die in the West. Without a lot riding on it, this dismal performance will be swiftly forgotten by most, though there's a fair chance this fails to even recoup its budget of $40 million domestically.

5. Transformers: Age of Extinction (9,845,720)
6. Tammy ($7,402,208)
7. 22 Jump Street ($4,703,353)
8. How to Train Your Dragon 2 ($3,904,709)
9. Earth to Echo ($3,267,824)
10. Maleficent ($3,238,213)

19. Persecuted ($851,391)
Horribly-reviewed Christian thriller fails even to excite the burgeoning faith audience that turned out in droves for films like Son of God, God's Not Dead and Heaven Is for Real earlier this year. Is the fad fading already?

23. Wish I Was Here ($484,401)
Focus are pursuing a different release strategy for this than for Zach Braff's last film as director, 2004's Garden State, so it's hard to compare the two films' performances. Still, this doesn't look like it has nearly the same breakout potential.

48. There's No Place Like Utopia ($30,710)

49. I Origins ($27,652)
Modest hype for the Sundance hit translates into a middling opening weekend gross.

50. Mood Indigo ($26,511)
Michel Gondry's faithful turned up to two theatres in fine numbers to see an edited version of his kooky literary adaptation.

56. A Five Star Life ($15,996)
58. Video Games: The Movie ($12,759)
68. Alive Inside ($7,200)
92. As It Is In Heaven ($531)

July box office looks only to extend its poor performance year-on-year, as next weekend brings three potential big flops: Hercules, with no screenings for critics, Lucyfrom the hit-averse Luc Besson, and And So It Goes, which dud distributor Clarius Entertainment is dumping into 1,800 theatres, which already seems like far too many. Also opening: The Fluffy Movie (don't ask), A Most Wanted Man, Happy Christmasand Woody Allen's Magic in the Moonlightwhich will make a bid for his usual high opening weekend per-theatre average.