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Summer Box Office Freefall Continues as Three New Films Open

Photo of Tom Brueggemann By Tom Brueggemann | Thompson on Hollywood July 19, 2014 at 2:42PM

The World Cup is over and that excuse for the clear drop in summer season grosses is gone. This weekend saw three new films opening across three audience sectors, but neither the originality nor the multiple genres managed to put air back into a box office balloon which has been rapidly deflating over the past several weeks.
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Jason Clarke and Andy Serkis in 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes'
Jason Clarke and Andy Serkis in 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes'

The World Cup is over and that excuse for the clear drop in summer season grosses is gone. This weekend saw three new films opening across three audience sectors, but neither the originality nor the multiple genres managed to put air back into a box office balloon which has been rapidly deflating over the past several weeks. Yesterday's Top 10 total was only $44 million, down from $59 million for the same Friday last year.

Universal's horror sequel "The Purge: Anarchy" came in best of the newbies, at number one for the day with $13 million. With $2.6 million of that from Thursday night shows, and the normal front-loaded opening day performance of similar films, it is projected to come in second for the weekend though. "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" (20th Century Fox) with $10 million is number two at the moment, but expect it to come out on top when the three days are counted. Still, despite positive response and having opened below the top summer grossers, the anticipated drop of over 50-percent is yet another sign of this season's overall weakness.

"Planes: Fire and Rescue" (Buena Vista) opened at number three with $6.2 million, nearly $2 million less than predecessor "Planes" did last August. As the fresh animated film in the mix it should have a nice boost today, but not enough to equal last year's effort. At least it bested "Sex Tape" (Sony), number four with $5.7 million. Jake Kasdan's comedy with Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel only took in about half of the opening day of the teams "Bad Teacher" in 2011.

There's a big drop in the numbers for the rest of the Top 10, though several are late in their runs and already established successes. "Transformers: Age of Extinction" (Paramount) is #5 with $2.7 million, then "Tammy" (Warner Bros.) number six with $2.6 million. The grosses of the rest drop steeply, number seven "22 Jump Street" grossing $1.4 million, and numbers eight through 10 - "How to Train Your Dragon 2" (20th Century Fox), "Earth to Echo" (Relativity) and "Maleficent" (Buena Vista) all taking in just over or under $1 million.

This article is related to: Box Office


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.