Weekend Box Office: Audiences Go Bananas for ‘Apes’

With no other new wide releases for competition, plus very strong reviews and word-of-mouth, the top movie in America this weekend was a no-brainer. Meanwhile, another film has officially claimed the title of highest-grossing movie of 2014.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes‘ debuted in the #1 spot 33% stronger than its predecessor, ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes‘. From nearly 4,000 locations, the 3D picture pulled in $73 million. While that number is nowhere near the biggest hits of the summer, with everything in its favor, ‘Dawn’ is predicted to finish its domestic run north of $200 million and will have no problem globally either. The sequel only opened in a few of the smaller international markets this weekend, but it’s already performing between 30% to 50% higher than ‘Rise’ in each of them.

‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ had a nice little time atop the 2014 box office charts, but was dethroned by this weekend’s #2 movie. In its third weekend, ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction‘ slipped 55%, crossed the $200 million mark, sucked another $16.5 million out of moviegoer wallets, and became the highest grossing picture of 2014. The film’s $209 million 17-day domestic total, combined with another $543.5 million from overseas, indicate that Michael Bay’s latest crapfest will transform into a billion-dollar payday by the end of its global theatrical run.

Melissa McCarthy’s messy ‘Tammy‘ didn’t fall as hard as was predicted after its slow opening last week. In the #3 spot, the comedy dropped 40% and added another $12.9 million to its run. After ten days, ‘Tammy’ has earned $57.3 million based on a budget of $20 million.

Two five-week-old titles are still hanging in the Top 5. ‘22 Jump Street‘ slid 31% with another $6.7 million, while ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2‘ dropped 34% with $5.8 million. To date, the sequels have now grossed $171.9 million and $152 million, respectively.

Richard Linklater’s micro-budget indie flick ‘Boyhood‘ had an extremely successful opening on just five screens. The IFC drama grabbed $359,000. Its $71,800 per-screen average is the second best of the year behind ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel‘. IFC is expected to expand the picture over the next few weekends.

Box office numbers have yet to be announced for ‘A Long Way Down’.

Top 10:

1. ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ (Fox) – $73,000,000

2. ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’ (Paramount) – $16,500,000

3. ‘Tammy’ (Warner Bros.) – $12,910,000

4. ’22 Jump Street’ (Sony) – $6,700,000

5. ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’ (Fox) – $5,865,000

6. ‘Earth to Echo’ (Relativity) – $5,500,000

7. ‘Deliver Us from Evil’ (Screen Gems) – $4,700,000

8. ‘Maleficent’ (Buena Vista) – $4,169,000

9. ‘Begin Again’ (Weinstein) – $2,935,000

10. ‘Jersey Boys’ (Warner Bros.) – $2,510,000

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