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Weekend Box Office: Transformers: Age of Extinction Annihilates Box Office

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By Chris Kavan - 06/29/14 at 11:04 PM CT

With the box office starting to trail the 2013 season, the summer needed a true blockbuster to at least put up some kind of fight to make things a bit interesting. Aren't we lucky that we finally have a hit worthy of summer and, who else do we have to thank but the maestro of mindless mayhem, Michael Bay. It turns out the fourth time is truly a charm as the latest Transformers got off the great start - posting the biggest premiere of the year while also getting off to a red-hot start at the international box office as well. Though it may not be enough to reverse the course that 2014 is taking in comparison to 2013 - it softens the blow somewhat.


Give Michael Bay a hand - though he is more focused on special effects than a deep story, he at least knows what his audience wants. For the fourth time, he has revisited the Transformers world, and it continues to pay big dividends. With a $100 million debut, Age of Extinction had the biggest opening of the year, topping Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($95 million). It also had the second-largest opening in the Transformers series behind Revenge of the Fallen ($108 million). It brought in $10.7 million from IMAX alone - the second-largest June haul on record behind Man of Steel. 3D totals are still being tallied. The film also enjoyed a $201 million international opening - including a record (foreign) opening in China of $90 million With this kind of opening, a worldwide total north of $1 billion is probable. Domestically, the film suffered from weak critical response (17% on Rotten Tomatoes) but audiences were much more forgiving, awarding it an "A-" Cinemascore. That audience breaks down to 64% male and 58% over 25. Thought the film had an exceptional opening, the upcoming holiday makes it difficult to predict whether is can reach the $300 million mark each of its predecessors has reached. The big test is going to be how it holds up over July 4th - although I think the competition looks comparatively weak, we will certainly know a lot more about its long-term chances once the long holiday weekend is finished.


Holding on to its second-place spot, 22 Jump Street took a 44% hit and was a fair distance away with $15.4 million. That still brings the comedy sequels total to $138.4 million and still well on its was to topping $150 million and with plenty of legs left over to go even further.


Also holding on to its third-place position, How to Train Your Dragon 2 continued it surprisingly steep decline, shedding 47% in its third weekend out. It brought in $13.1 million to give it a new total of $121.8 million and it now looking more and more likely to struggle to reach $170 million stateside.


After opening in the top spot last weekend, the ensemble comedy Think Like a Man Too - anchored by Kevin Hart - took a big 64% hit. Though it opened to good reviews and decent audience response, it looks like it burned up most of its demand opening weekend. With another $10.4 million, the film now stands at $48.2 million and is looking to fall well short of the original film's $91.5 million total.


Angelina Jolie and Disney's team up has hit another milestone. Maleficent took in $8.2 million over the weekend, and the film crossed the $200 million mark with a new total of $201.8 million and giving it some major bragging rights for the summer 2014 season and reiterating that women are a major force at the box office and shouldn't be overlooked.

Outside the top five: One other film quietly crossed the $200 million mark over the weekend as well. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 took in $320,000 (17th place) which was just enough to ease it over the mark with $200.1 million. Even though that is not a number to scoff at - this Spider-Man film has earned $60 million less than the original film, which was already the lowest-grossing in the series.

The two limited-release films of the weekend premiered to good numbers. Snowpiercer, the latest from Joon-ho Bong, opened in 8 theater with $162,100 for a decent $20,263 per-theater average - enough that a bigger expansion is likely to come.

Begin Again, from Once director John Carney scored even better, earning $148,000 from just 5 theaters for a $29,600 per-theater average - no doubt leading to a bigger rollout in the coming weeks as well.

Even though you would think the July holiday would be prime real estate for blockbusters, the holiday box office looks like it will be somewhat subdued. You have the horror film Deliver Us from Evil, the E.T. clone Earth to Echo and the latest from comedian Melissa McCarthy, Tammy. I think Transformers has a legitimate shot to repeat at the top (for the first time this summer), but we'll see what audience shows up in bigger numbers over the long weekend.


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