Monday, June 30, 2014

‘Transformers’ is the Optimus Prime of the box office

Transformers: Age of Extinction performed to very high expectation this weekend, grossing $100 million domestically and a stellar $300 million worldwide. In China, the movie enjoyed the best opening weekend ever for a foreign film, earning $90 million. Extinction has yet to bow in several European markets (due to the World Cup, Paramount decided not to debut the film in all international territories on Friday), meaning yet another round of opening-weekend receipts is on the gilded horizon.  Surprisingly, Extinction did not set a franchise record for the strongest domestic opening weekend: That honor still belongs to Revenge of the Fallen, which managed $108 million in 2009. Still, this fourth installment in the robots series could well end up with a $1 billion worldwide total.

Clearly, audiences did not agree with the critics. The film’s current standing on Rotten Tomatoes may be a dismal 17 percent, but viewers awarded it a “Yeah, we liked it” CinemaScore grade of an A-. Sixty-four percent of audience members were male, and 57 percent were over the age of 25. They helped give star Mark Wahlberg the best opening of his career. The film will likely gross between $250 and $300 million domestically by the time it finishes its theatrical run.

Clocking in at No. 2, 22 Jump Street earned $15.4 million, a dropoff of 44 percent from last week. The film has already surpassed its predecessor’s $138.4 million total, having grossed $139.8 million to date.

How to Train Your Dragon 2, on the other hand, continues to trail 2010’s How to Train Your Dragon. The sequel landed at No. 3 with its $13.1 million haul. It has so far earned $121.8 million, and will likely tally out to somewhere north of $150 million.

Last weekend’s box-office champion, Think Like a Man Too, fell precipitously this Friday-Sunday, claiming the No. 4 spot. It dipped 64 percent to earn $10.4 million, and will almost certainly fail to match, let alone exceed, Think Like a Man’s $91.5 million total.

Maleficent has charted a much surer b.o. course. The Disney hit came in at No. 5, grossing $8.2 million. It beat out Jersey Boys, which took in an additional, and rather weak, $7.6 million, bumping its total to $27.3 million.

Begin Again and Snowpiercer both enjoyed solid openings at the specialty box office. The former managed the best per-theatre average of the weekend (even better than Transformers, we might add). Its $148,325 total from five theatres worked out to a per-location average of $29,655. For its part, Snowpiercer grossed $162,127 from eight theatres.

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