“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” topped the box office in the U.S and Canada for a second week, outselling three new releases.
The summer sequel from 21st Century Fox Inc. (FOXA) generated ticket sales of $36 million over the weekend, bringing its total domestic gross so far to $139 million, researcher Rentrak Corp. (RENT) said yesterday in an e-mailed statement. Horror producer Jason Blum’s “The Purge: Anarchy” placed second with $28.4 million in its debut, while Walt Disney Co. (DIS)’s “Planes: Fire and Rescue” was third.
Fox now has six releases that have surpassed $100 million in domestic ticket sales this year, and leads Hollywood studios with more than $1.1 billion in sales. Rupert Murdoch’s company is trying to buy Time Warner Inc. (TWX), the No. 2 studio with about $970 million in domestic sales to date.
“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” is being “propelled by great word of mouth,” Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst at Rentrak, said yesterday. “It’s just the perfect summer movie because it combines everything. It has action, popcorn entertainment value, but it also has a brain.”
The movie cost an estimated $170 million to make, according to Box Office Mojo. It’s selling at a faster pace than predecessor “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” the 2011 film that made $55 million in its first weekend and $177 million in its domestic theatrical run. The first movie had a production budget of $93 million.
Universal Pictures’ “The Purge: Anarchy” is a sequel to last year’s “The Purge,” an R-rated horror film in which 12 hours of lawlessness can go unpunished.
Made in Los Angeles with a budget of $9 million, the latest installment follows a couple driving home to their children when their car runs out of gas just as the so-called Purge starts. Meanwhile, a police sergeant sets out to get revenge on the man who killed his son, and a mother and daughter run from their home after assailants destroy it. All five meet as they attempt to survive the night in Los Angeles.
The sequel is written and directed by James DeMonaco, whose directorial credits include the original “The Purge,” “The Negotiator” and “Assault on Precinct 13.”
“The Purge: Anarchy” was forecast to debut with $28 million in weekend ticket sales, according to BoxOffice.com.
The film “ups the ante and the gore,” and is “a good deal better than its predecessor,” Betsy Sharkey wrote in a review for the Los Angeles Times.
Disney’s animated sequel “Planes: Fire and Rescue” opened in third place with $18 million in box-office receipts. The first “Planes” film, a spinoff of the Pixar hit “Cars” that was originally developed for home video, generated $22 million when it opened last summer, going on to earn $90.3 million in the U.S. and Canada.
The weekend’s third new film in wide release, Sony Pictures’s R-rated comedy “Sex Tape,” took in a disappointing $15 million at the box office.
“It’s a very crowded marketplace right now,” said Dergarabedian.
The film stars Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel as a married couple with kids who film themselves enacting every instruction of the 1970s self-help book “The Joy of Sex,” only to find that their personal home movie ends up being made public.
The film, which was projected by BoxOffice.com to generate $23 million in ticket sales, failed to impress critics. Only 20 percent of reviews tracked by Rottentomatoes.com were positive.
“If you are expecting a movie that finds humor in squirming embarrassment and that touches modern anxieties about the loss of privacy and the technological exploitation of the libido, you might be disappointed,” wrote A.O Scott in a review in the New York Times. (NYT)
“Transformers: Age of Extinction,” the summer popcorn film from Viacom Inc. (VIAB)’s Paramount Pictures, fell to fifth place from second. The movie, released on June 27, has generated $227.2 million domestically and $886 million worldwide.
“These big-budget spectacles do well in the summer,” Dergarabedian said. “We just need more of them.”
The summer box office has lagged last year’s, with sales down about 20 percent so far, according to Rentrak. Weekend sales for the top 10 films fell about 25 percent to $130 million from a year earlier. Sales for the year to date have fallen 6.1 percent to $5.9 billion.
The following table has U.S. movie box-office figures provided by studios to Rentrak. The amounts are based on gross ticket sales for July 18-19 and estimates for yesterday.
Rev. Pct. Avg./ Total Movie (mln) Chg. Theaters Theater (mln) Wks ================================================================ 1 Planet Of Apes $36.0 -50 3,969 $ 9,070 $139 2 2 Purge 28.4 -- 2,805 10,114 28.4 1 3 Planes 18.0 -- 3,826 4,705 18.0 1 4 Sex Tape 15.0 -- 3,026 4,899 15.0 1 5 Transformers 10.0 -39 3,224 3,102 227.2 4 6 Tammy 7.6 -39 3,402 2,235 71.3 3 7 22 Jump Street 4.7 -28 2,229 2,109 180.5 6 8 Train Your Dragon 3.8 -37 2,169 1,752 160.7 6 9 Maleficent 3.3 -21 1,541 2,143 228.4 8 10 Earth to Echo 3.3 -41 2,450 1,331 32 3 Top 10 Films Grosses This Week Year Ago Pct. (mln) (mln) Chg. =================================== $130.0 $174.3 -25.4 Year-to-date Revenue 2014 2013 YTD YTD Pct. (mln) (mln) Chg. =================================== $5,885 $6,265 -6.1 Source: Rentrak Corp.