June 28, 2014

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Transformers” Surges to Possible 9-Digit Weekend


Despite a $8.7M start on Thursday night that was no better than the year’s other blockbusters, and bulletins throughout the day that business was slightly softer than expected, reports at Deadline and elsewhere are now claiming that TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION (Paramount) surged to $40M on Friday, which would be the biggest day of any movie so far this year.  (The current top 2 are $38.4M for Godzilla and $36.9M for Captain America: The Winter Soldier.)  If that number holds, it would put Transformers 4 in good shape for the promised land of the first $100M weekend of the year.  Of course, the real difference between a $95M+ weekend and one that hits $100M is marginal, but the amount of positive press Paramount would get for hitting that mark would be huge, making the movie even more of an “event,” which could pay off in holiday ticket sales next week.  If Transformers is anywhere close, expect the studio to make the $100M projection on Sunday morning.

It helps Transformers, of course, that last week’s openings were so weak.  THINK LIKE A MAN TOO (Screen Gems/Sony) didn’t hold well (not unusual with its target audience), down about 70% from its opening day to $3.5M, with perhaps $10M for the weekend and a US total of $70M, $20M+ below the first Think.  With its (very) much older audience, JERSEY BOYS (Warners) will linger longer, down around 50% from last Friday to $2.2M, and hoping for a high-multiple weekend of $7.5M.  That still won’t get it very far, but at least it mitigates the embarrassment of its opening.

Nothing else was remotely close on Friday.  22 JUMP STREET (Columbia/Sony) fell a bit less than 50% from last Friday to $4.8M, aiming for a $14-15M weekend that would put it on target to pass $150M over the July 4th weekend.  HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 (DreamWorks Animation/20th) dropped another 45% to $4M, with a $14M weekend likely and probably not much more than a $160M US total, a far cry from the first Dragon‘s $217.6M.  MALEFICENT (Disney) was down about 40% to $2.5M, headed for a $8.5M weekend that should put it above $200M by Sunday.

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS (20th) has developed a surprising second wind, down about 45% from last Friday to $1.8M, and still capable of reaching $125M in the US.  EDGE OF TOMORROW (Warners) dropped 50% to $1.5M, and looks like it will run out of steam around $90M or so.

The remarkable word of mouth story of the summer continues to be CHEF (Open Road), which in its 8th week of release slipped a miniscule 8% from last Friday to $445K at just 800 theatres, and will be near $20M by Sunday.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."