July 3, 2014

HOLIDAY WEDNESDAY BOX OFFICE: “Transformers” Overwhelms “Tammy” & the Rest


The long holiday movie weekend began without much interest from audiences.

OPENINGS:  TAMMY (Warners) got underway with a so-so $6.2M, which includes $1.3M from Tuesday night shows.  That suggests $32-35M for the 5-day weekend, around $20M of it during the Friday-Sunday period.  Considering that both reviews and exit poll responses have been dismal, a $75M US total wouldn’t be bad for the moderately-budgeted comedy (especially compared to Edge of Tomorrow, which won’t hit $100M in the US despite costing almost 10x as much to produce), and in a way would prove the value of Melissa McCarthy’s star power, since there’s literally no reason to see the movie aside from her presence.

Ticketbuyers have been cool to horror movies this year, and that’s true once again of DELIVER US FROM EVIL (Screen Gems/Sony), which managed $2.9M on Wednesday.  It might reach $15M by Sunday, $10M of it over the 3-day weekend, and will be turning up on VOD swiftly.

Over the course of the weekend, EARTH TO ECHO (Relativity) may well move past Deliver Us From Evil, since horror movies tend to be front-loaded, and Earth should benefit from holiday weekend matinees.  On Wednesday, though, it was a notch behind at $2.6M.  $20M by Sunday ($15M of it in the Fri-Sun period) would be an OK result for the low-budget kiddie movie, which didn’t carry an expensive marketing campaign.

It appears that lightning won’t be striking twice for director Dinesh D’Souza and his right-wing agit-prop factory, as AMERICA (Lionsgate) expanded to 1105 theatres for a mere $650K.  That’s about 30% of the $2.3M D’Souza’s 2016: Obama’s America made when it expanded to 1091 theatres 2 years ago, and although the holiday may bring out some zealots, America is unlikely to earn more than $3M by Sunday, with little chance of getting near 2016‘s $33.4M US total.

HOLDOVERS:  TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION (Paramount) had no trouble with any of the new competition, way ahead of the pack with $7.7M on Wednesday.  It should have $55M by Sunday, $40M of it over the 3-day weekend.  That would mark a 60% drop from its opening weekend, which certainly isn’t good, but seems to be the way blockbusters are playing these days.  (Captain America: The Winter Soldier was down “only” 57% on its 2d weekend, while Amazing Spider-Man 2, Godzilla and X-Men: Days of Future Past all dropped 61-67%.)  It suggests, however, that Transformers will only get to $250-275M in the US, making it by far the least successful of the franchise in this country.  (The original Transformers is currently lowest at $319.2M, with Transformers 2 on top at $402.1M.)  Of course, Paramount hopes to make up for that shortfall overseas–but since a dollar at the US box office is worth 55 cents to its studio, while the same dollar is only worth 25 cents in China, it’s not an even trade.

The only other holdovers to sell more than $1M in tickets on Wednesday were 22 JUMP STREET (Columbia/Sony), down 44% from last Wednesday to $2M, with perhaps $15M coming for the 5-day weekend; HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 (DreamWorks Animation/20th), in lockstep with 22 Jump at a 44% drop to $2M, but perhaps benefiting a bit more from matinees over the weekend; and MALEFICENT (Disney), down a soft 38% to $1.2M, and looking for $10M+ by Sunday.

As ever, CHEF (Open Road) deserves special mention, down just 17% from last Wednesday.  It’s not making a ton of money ($200K on Wednesday), but it’s satisfying all customers.

LIMITED RELEASE:  BEGIN AGAIN (Weinstein) expanded to 175 theatres with a sub-$1K average on Wednesday, which should give it a $3K average during the Friday-Sunday period.

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."