Friday Box Office: TRANSFORMERS 4 and TAMMY Lead Weak Fourth of July Frame

     July 5, 2014


Transformers: Age of Extinction remained on top of the box office for an eighth straight day on Friday, earning an estimated $10.6 million to easily dominate the week’s three new releases.  All of the new titles opened on July second and, as expected, Warner Bros.’ Tammy was strongest.  The comedy took second place with an estimated $6.6 million yesterday, putting its three-day total at $18.1 million.  Fellow newcomers Deliver Us From Evil and Earth to Echo battled in the middle of the pack, with less than $250,000 separating their debuts from holdovers How to Train Your Dragon 2 and 22 Jump Street, both of which are entering their fourth weekend in theatres.

Details and Friday’s top six films after the jump.

tammy-posterEven if chart positions change, the overall takeaway on this holiday weekend is a box office that appears exceptionally weak, especially compared to last year.  In 2013, Despicable Me 2 led the July Fourth weekend box office with $83.5 million, and that was in addition to the almost $60 million the sequel collected on its first two days in theatres.  Last year’s holiday also hosted one of the summer’s most notable misses in The Lone Ranger – but even though that film ended up losing money for Disney, its initial debut of $29 million easily topped this year’s second place finisher, Tammy.  Overall, the 2014 holiday weekend should wind up down about 40% from last year.

In spite of its very discouraging C+ CinemaScore, Tammy should remain comfortably in second place this weekend with at least $20 million.  The R-rated comedy starring Melissa McCarthy opened to $6.2 million on Wednesday – less than half of what McCarthy’s last major release, The Heat, earned on its opening day last summer.  To be fair, that’s a very misleading comparison.  The Heat opened on a Friday – ahead of the July Fourth holiday.  Tammy had a mid-week debut: between last weekend’s monster Transformers launch and this Friday’s holiday.

In fact, much of the blame for this year’s deflated holiday box office has to go to the calendar.  The Fourth of July hasn’t landed on a Friday since 2008, when Sony’s Hancock reigned with $62.6 million.  The holiday took Friday out of play for many people who might otherwise have caught a movie, depressing the estimates for all titles.  Transformers 4 was especially hard-hit, tumbling a giant 74% from its first day in theatres last Friday.  The bots are on track to claim $39 million on their sophomore weekend, representing a decline of 61% from that record-setting launch one week ago.

After eight days, Age of Extinction has collected nearly $150 million in domestic grosses.  At the same point in its run, Transformers: Dark of the Moon had earned over $200 million, proving that the franchise has indeed lost some luster with domestic audiences.  Paramount doesn’t appear to be sweating that particular stat, however, as international figures have continued to impress.  Buoyed by a record-setting $92 million launch in China last weekend, Transformers 4 crossed $400 million in worldwide grosses after only five days and remains on track to hit $1 billion by the end of its run.

We’ll have complete box office details tomorrow, including more on the new releases Deliver Us From Evil and Earth to Echo – though neither is expected to reach their (very modest) pre-release expectations.  For now, here’s how the Friday box office played out:

 Title Friday Total
1.  Transformers 4 $10,603,000 $148.9
2.  Tammy $6,440,000 $18.1
3.  How to Train Your Dragon 2 $2,775,000 $134
4.  Earth to Echo $2,630,000 $7.8
5.  Deliver Us From Evil $2,535,000 $8
6.  22 Jump Street $2,530,000 $151.9
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