‘Transformers’ Stays Atop Domestic Box Office a Second Week

“Transformers: Age of Extinction,” Paramount Pictures’ summer blockbuster, dominated domestic theaters for a second week, outselling three new films opening in wide release over a lackluster U.S. Independence Day weekend.

“Age of Extinction,” projected to be the top-grossing picture in U.S. and Canadian theaters this summer, collected $36.4 million from July 4 to yesterday, box-office tracker Rentrak Corp. said in a statement. “Tammy,” a comedy starring Melissa McCarthy, placed second, with $21.2 million for Warner Bros. Sony Corp.’s “Deliver Us From Evil” produced $9.5 million to place third, while “Earth to Echo,” from Relativity Media LLC, took in $8.3 million for sixth place.

“Transformers: Age of Extinction” is providing a boost to Viacom Inc.’s film division, which ranked last among the six major studios in domestic sales, at $422.1 million as of June 29, and has the fewest releases so far this year, according to researcher Box Office Mojo. The first film in a new trilogy, the picture has been a bigger hit in China than the U.S., a rare feat for Hollywood, generating $134.5 million there in its first five days, compared with a domestic tally of $121 million.

“What’s happening with this movie is pretty fascinating,” Phil Contrino, editor at BoxOffice.com, said in a telephone interview. “This is a truly global property. It’s off to a great start around the world.”

Revenue Decline

The movie provided a bright spot for the industry in an otherwise slow box office. Weekend revenue for the top 10 films fell 48 percent to $113.3 million from the year-earlier period, Rentrak said. The drop also hurt domestic box-office sales year to date, which at $5.4 billion is a decrease of 3.9 percent from the same period in 2013.

In domestic cinemas, Hollywood’s summer lineup has so far failed to match 2013’s, with sales down 16 percent from May 2 to July 2 compared with a year earlier, according to Rentrak.

“It wasn’t the kind of slate to inspire a record-breaking box office,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak. “A silver lining is that we don’t have any big flops this summer.”

“Transformers: Age of Extinction” opened in large international markets in Europe and South America over the weekend, in a strategy designed to minimize competition for audiences with soccer’s World Cup tournament.

“Age of Extinction” may garner total domestic sales of $265 million and $1 billion worldwide, BoxOffice.com estimates. It’s one of Paramount’s most important pictures of the year, alongside “Hercules,” scheduled to open later this month, and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” set to open in August.

Battling Robots

“Age of Extinction” collected $100 million in its domestic debut in the weekend of June 27-29, overtaking the $95 million April opening of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” from Walt Disney Co., to set the high mark for 2014.

“Transformers” was estimated to produce $38.5 million in U.S. cinemas in its second weekend, according to BoxOffice.com.

The film, which stars Mark Wahlberg for the first time in the series, picks up the story of battling robots that convert into cars and trucks. It features Chinese actors as Paramount seeks to increase the international appeal of the series.

“Tammy,” an R-rated comedy from Time Warner Inc.’s film division, was projected to collect $22.5 million over the three days of the Fourth of July holiday weekend. It’s garnered $32.9 million in the five days since its release on July 2, according to Rentrak.

Road Trip

McCarthy, star of the 2013 comedy “Identity Thief,” plays Tammy, who returns home after being fired from a fast-food restaurant to find her husband having an affair with the neighbor. She takes flight and embarks on a road trip with her alcoholic and diabetic grandmother, played by Susan Sarandon.

The film failed to enchant critics, drawing only a 28 percent positive rating on Rottentomatoes.com, a review aggregator.

“There are some laughs and, at least on screen, more than a few tears. But it doesn’t come together with the kind of satisfying punch a comedy should deliver,” Betsy Sharkey wrote in the Los Angeles Times.

In “Deliver Us From Evil,” Eric Bana stars as New York police officer Ralph Sarchie, investigating a series of crimes. He joins forces with a priest to fight demonic possessions that are terrorizing their city.

The film, which received a 34 percent positive rating from critics at Rottentomatoes.com., had been projected to garner $12.5 million over three days, according to BoxOffice.com. It has generated $15 million since it opened on July 2.

E.T. Echo

“Earth to Echo,” a family sci-fi feature, placed sixth with $8.3 million. In echoes of “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial,” the 1982 Steven Spielberg movie, the new film follows a group of kids who embark on an adventure with an alien who needs their help.

The picture got a 51 percent positive rating from critics on Rottentomatoes.com and has generated $13.5 million since opening on July 2.

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 4, July 5 and estimates for yesterday.

                    Rev.    Pct.             Avg./   Total
Movie               (mln)    Chg. Theaters  Theater   (mln)  Wks
1 Transformers:      $36.4  -64   4,233      $8,599   $174.7  2
2 Tammy               21.2   --   3,465       6,110     32.9  1
3 Deliver Us From      9.5   --   3,049       3,116     15.0  1
4 22 Jump Street       9.4  -41   3,324       2,828    158.9  4
5 Dragon 2             8.8  -34   3,297       2,654    140.0  4
6 Earth To Echo        8.3   --   3,230       2,554     13.5  1
7 Maleficent           6.1  -27   2,389       2,567    213.9  6
8 Jersey Boys          5.2  -33   2,630       1,962     36.7  3
9 Like A Man Too       4.9  -53   1,729       2,834     57.2  3
10 Edge Of Tomorrow    3.6  -33   1,538       2,367     90.9  5

Top 10 Films Grosses

This Week Year Ago Pct. (mln) (mln) Chg. =================================== $113.3 $219.3 -48

Year-to-date Revenue

2014 2013 YTD YTD Pct. (mln) (mln) Chg. =================================== $5,433 $5,651 -3.9

Source: Rentrak Corp.

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