Weekend Box Office: Primate Anarchy Reigns

None of this weekend’s new movies could defeat Caesar and his dawning planet of apes.

For the second week in a row, ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes‘ held the top spot at the box office. From nearly 4,000 locations, the sequel dropped only 50% from its debut, which is impressive considering that this summer’s blockbuster trend is to fall at least 60% on weekend #2. The film added another $36 million to its ten-day domestic run, which now sits at $138.9 million. Internationally, ‘Dawn’ is also performing stronger than its predecessor. 2011’s ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes‘ bowed with $176.7 million domestically and $305 million overseas. ‘Dawn’ has already earned $105 million overseas and still has many more markets to go.

Of the three new wide releases, the strongest performer was second-place ‘The Purge: Anarchy‘. From 2,800 locations, the horror sequel drew a decent $28.3 million. That’s down only $6 million from the debut of the first ‘The Purge‘. Just like the first one, ‘Anarchy’ is expected to steeply drop next weekend.

Third place went to Disney’s half-assed animated sequel, ‘Planes: Fire & Rescue‘. Even though its only direct family-friendly competition is the six-week-old ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’, audiences apparently learned their lesson after last year’s direct-to-video-worthy ‘Planes‘. While the original opened to $22 million, ‘Fire & Rescues’ sputtered out this weekend with just $18 million. With no other kids’ movies opening this summer, it ought to hold over well enough, but won’t match the run of the first movie.

Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz’s stupified comedy ‘Sex Tape‘ failed to make any magic. This summer has brought us both exceptionally strong and unbelievably weak comedies, and ‘Sex Tape’ is unfortunately one of the latter. From 3,000 locations, the movie only brought in $15 million. That’s actually less than this summer’s unexpected flop ‘A Million Ways to Die in the West’.

Four-week-old ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction‘ rounded out the Top 5 with $10 million. Still holding over well, the film continues to climb the charts and will undoubtedly break the $1 billion mark as it rolls into more international markets. To date, the fourquel has earned $227.1 million domestically and $659.1 million internationally.

Two of this weekend’s indie movies debuted with nearly identical results. Neither did as well as originally expected. Focus Features opened Zach Braff’s Kickstarter-funded dramedy ‘Wish I Was Here‘ on 68 screens, from which it earned $495,000 and a per-screen average of $7,279. (Many Kickstarter financiers already saw the movie at special Braff-hosted screenings. I’m curious to find out how much that may have taken away from the box office.) Focus expands the release next weekend to an estimated 600 to 800 screens.

On four screens, Fox Searchlight’s Sundance acquisition ‘I Origins‘ opened with a similar per-screen average of $7,175. ‘Origins’ earned $28,700 in total, so who knows how far the expansion will spread in the next weeks.

Top 10:

1. ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ (Fox) – $36,000,000

2. ‘The Purge: Anarchy’ (Universal) – $28,369,000

3. ‘Planes: Fire & Rescue’ (Buena Vista) – $18,000,000

4. ‘Sex Tape’ (Sony) – $15,000,000

5. ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’ (Paramount) – $10,000,000

6. ‘Tammy’ (Warner Bros.) – $7,605,000

7. ’22 Jump Street’ (Sony) – $4,700,000

8. ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’ (Fox) – $3,800,000

9. ‘Maleficent’ (Buena Vista) – $3,302,000

10. ‘Earth to Echo’ (Relativity) – $3,260,000


  1. William Henley

    Wow, Maleficent pulled in more than Earth to Echo this past weekend? I guess no one wants to watch a movie that was supposedly shot by 10-year-olds with iPhones.

    Saw Planet of the Apes this weekend. i was going to go see it on the big screen in Atmos, but I didn’t want to wait for the next showing and saw it in 3D instead. First movie I saw at the theater in 3D in a while (I prefer home 3D), but I was really impressed with this movie – it looked REALLY GOOD in 3D. Still wishing I had of caught it in Atmos.

    • Drew

      You missed out. It features one of the three best Atmos presentations ever. It was astonishing. If you loved the film, you should go see it again; This time, in Atmos.

      • William Henley

        I was debating on it. I really did enjoy the movie – which was surprising, because I was not too impressed with the last two (they weren’t bad, just not great. This one was fantastic!)

        I will need to go between now and Thursday if I do, and not sure if I will have the chance – busy week. As it is their largest screen auditorium, a movie doesn’t stay there long, and I am willing to bet Guardians of the Galaxy will be on it this weekend.

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