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.