This is shaping up to be one of those weekends where there are multiple factors in play in projecting box office returns. Predicting percentage drops for last week's openers is a bit dicey due to their Wednesday openings plus we're coming off a (normally) inflated weekend due to the 4th of July. Toss in a side section of Sunday's World Cup final, an appetizer of a summer season that overall has bordered on disastrous and finally mix in the possibility of severe storms this weekend in the Midwest and Northeast Corridor. Having said all this, here goes...
PROJECTED WEEKEND BOX OFFICE TOP 10
1) DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES---FOX---$63 MILLION
That was my story on Monday and I'm sticking to it. Reviews have been positive thus far
2) TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION---PARAMOUNT---$16.2 MILLION---DOWN 56%
They will lose much of their audience as the guys journey to the aforementioned planet.
3) TAMMY---WARNER BROTHERS---$10.7 MILLION---DOWN 50%
I'd guess higher, based on poor reviews, a Cinemascore grade that resembled that which I received in my sophomore year Statistics and Algorithms Class and a truckload of negative press, but remember the film opened on a Wednesday so its initial weekend three day is lower than it would normally be, which should result in a lower than normal second weekend decline.
4) HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2---FOX/DREAMWORKS---$6.2 MILLION---DOWN 30%
Here's guessing that rain drenches outdoor activities back east, driving kids and parents away from theme parks and pony rides and into their local (dry) multiplexes
5) EARTH TO ECHO---RELATIVITY---$6.0 MILLION---DOWN 28%
6) 22 JUMP STREET---SONY---$5.8 MILLION---DOWN 41%
Another film that figures to lose its core male audience to DOTPOTA this weekend.
7) BEGIN AGAIN---WEINSTEIN---$4.7 MILLION
Expanding to 1,000 runs after its initial limited break, this Keira Knightley/Mark Ruffalo starrer could prove to be successful counter-programming.
8) MALEFICENT---BUENA VISTA---$4.3 MILLION---DOWN 29%
Yet another Disney film that simply refuses to go away. It's not quite "Frozen". Let's just call it "Icy".
9) DELIVER US FROM EVIL---SONY/SCREEN GEMS---$4.2 MILLION---DOWN 56%
The film has had the highest day-to-day drops this week of any film in the marketplace. That, plus a male fan base whose attention figures to be occupied elsewhere this weekend, portends doom. Could fall even higher.
10) JERSEY BOYS---WARNER BROTHERS---$3.3 MILLION---DOWN 33%
Don't look now but the much maligned musical drama will pass the $40 million mark this weekend. While nothing to trumpet during investor calls, the film will end up at a higher level than predicted after a disappointing opening weekend and amazingly it's now Clint Eastwood's highest grossing, non-starring directorial effort since 2003's "Mystic River".
BUBBLING UNDER THE TOP 10
The Answer Is: What Is The Only Film To Gain Strength As This Week Has Progressed? Uh Alex, what is "America"? Yes, that's the correct answer. Thanks to a week of conspiracy theories not seen since Mel Gibson/Julia Roberts movies or The Warren Report, Dinesh D'Souza has mined Google and Costco snubs into a surge at the box office. Everything points to that initial furor subsiding by this weekend but who knows with these things. Keep an eye out.
Another fun activity this weekend will be to gauge the success or failure of Radius/TWC's decision to expand to 350 theatres, while also going day-and-date this weekend on VOD, on "Snowpiercer". The film grossed over $1 million this past weekend on 250 screens but as we've seen in the past, the moment a film appears on VOD theatrical box office comes to a halt as if it just did the 100 yard dash in a 99 yard gymnasium.