Weekend Box Office: More (Money) Than Meets the Eye

Mike Judge’s little-seen 2006 comedy ‘Idiocracy’ portrays a future society where the ignorant masses love whatever marketing tells them they’re supposed to love. Looking at this weekend’s box office numbers, I fear that Judge’s satirical future might be the exact direction that we’re headed.

Let’s be honest – if an alien race came to Earth to save humanity, the second they saw the collective amount of money that our primitive society has dumped into the dumbass ‘Transformers’ franchise, they’d take off and leave us to our own well-deserved shortcomings. I never thought I’d see the day when people chose not to see an amazing, fun and very well-reviewed sci-fi action movie (‘Edge of Tomorrow’) because its leading man might be a weirdo in real life, but then turn around and gladly pay for the fourth installment in a convoluted, lowest-common-denominator, braindead franchise that has never delivered anything worthwhile. So long as we don’t stop eating the sludge that Hollywood spoon-feeds us, this trend will never end.

If you haven’t gathered by my disparaging comments, ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction‘ dominated the global box office this weekend with the first $100 million opening of 2014. Estimates place it right on the $100 million mark domestically. The mean part of me hopes that the actual numbers (which will be announced to the public later today) show it falling just short of that mark. The latest sequel is up $30 million from the debut of the first ‘Transformers’, down nearly $9 million from the second movie, and up $2 million from the third. While this opening is huge considering the way the rest of the year has gone, it’s forecasted that ‘Age of Extinction’ will not cross the domestic $300 million mark that all three of its predecessors crossed. That’s the only positive to this debut. Overseas, ‘Transformers’ is killing it.

From 37 markets, ‘Age of Extinction’ brought in $201.3 million over the last three days. The studio owes a great thank you to its partner China (where the needless climax of the movie is set), which set a new box office record. The $90 million earned there flags this as the biggest ever opening in China for an imported picture. With many more international markets to go, it’s believed that ‘Age of Extinction’ will join the Billion Dollar Club by the time it bows.

In its third weekend, ‘22 Jump Street‘ held onto the #2 spot, but couldn’t come within $85 million of ‘Transformers’. With another $15.4 million, the sequel has out-grossed the entire domestic earning of the original ‘21 Jump Street‘. While ’21’ finished with $138.4 million, ’22’ now sits at $139.8 million and counting.

Also in its third weekend, ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2‘ held onto its #3 position, but is still not faring as well as it deserves. Its $13.1 million weekend pushed its domestic run up to $121.8 million, but the film is not expected to add more than another $50 million to its haul.

Last weekend’s top movie dropped a brutal 64.4% in attendance. With $10.4 million and a ten-day total of $48.1 million, ‘Think Like a Man Too‘ will finish nowhere near the $91.5 million that the first movie closed with.

Rounding out the Top 5 was the still-clinging-on ‘Maleficent‘. The film’s $8.2 million fifth weekend pushed its domestic earnings beyond the $200 million mark ($201.8 million, to be exact). Overseas, Disney’s fairy tale-undermining movie has earned $383.7 million.

The Weinstein Company had a very great weekend at the specialty box office. The sci-fi action flick ‘Snowpiercer‘ brought in $162,100 from eight locations, giving it a $20,263 per-screen average and an expected expansion in the very near future. Doing just as well, ‘Once‘ director John Carney’s new musical ‘Begin Again‘ pulled $148,000 from just five locations, for a $29,600 per-screen average.

Of note, ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past‘ has surpassed ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ as the highest-grossing picture of 2014. ‘Cap’ previously held the top honors with $711.2 million worldwide. ‘X-Men’ now stands at $713 million – that is, until ‘Transformers’ inevitably dethrones it.

Weekend numbers have yet to be announced for indie comedy ‘They Came Together’.

Top 10:

1. ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’ (Paramount) – $100,000,000

2. ’22 Jump Street’ (Sony) – $15,400,000

3. ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’ (Fox) – $13,100,000

4. ‘Think Like a Man Too’ (Screen Gems) – $10,400,000

5. ‘Maleficent’ (Buena Vista) – $8,237,000

6. ‘Jersey Boys’ (Warner Bros.) – $7,610,000

7. ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ (Warner Bros.) – $5,210,000

8. ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ (Fox) – $4,800,000

9. ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ (Fox) – $3,300,000

10. ‘Chef’ (Open Road) – $1,654,000

21 comments

  1. Today’s newspaper says global ticket sales are over $300M – Luke I hear you. It makes you want to bash your head on the wall for fun, multiple times. Then there’s the preorders for the home video including the one on Amazon with the cheap little $12 dinobot figure, making it a $150 retail package.

    I think we know the magic formula – explosions, dinosaurs, bigger explosions. Did I miss something?

  2. William Henley

    I am proud to say I was not one of the mindless people who saw Transformers this past weekend. I was disappointed in the first one, and the second was so bad that I waited to rent the third one. And the third one was so bad that I am not touching the fourth one with a 10 foot pole.

    I am convincing more and more people to see Edge of Tomorrow, and everyone who has seen it seems to have a really positive review of it.

    • Ryan

      I really wanna see The Edge of Tomorrow. I just haven’t found the time to go see it (the fact that everyone I ask, refuses to go with me isn’t helping)

      • William Henley

        This is a movie that is safe to see alone, but I understand – I prefer to watch movies with friends as welll

  3. Like William, I saw the first three Transformers in the theater, hoping each time the new one would be better than the last. I’m done with this franchise as well…at least as long as Michael Bay is helming it.

    • Unfortunately to us, Michael Bay is GOD right now in Paramount’s eyes. (No offense to our fine friends of the church)
      The only way we’d see him leave is if we pry the franchise from his cold, dead hands.

      • I’m sure Bay is dying of laughter as he sees hate-filled posts from guys like me. With his constant studio deals, nearly endless budgets and presumably massive paychecks, he’s the winner.

  4. Wow, liking the fact that people like to go see Transformers with the ultra stupid people society breeds up in Idiocracy is really pushing it. Its people like you that really find it hard to believe that LOTS of others like to watch movies with shit blowing up. Transformers has brought nothing worthwhile? Why does it have to bring anything worthwhile, its a summer action blockbuster, no where is there a law that states every action flick has to be as detailed and thought out as a Christopher Nolan movie.

    Sometimes I like to go see stuff like this and just shut my brain off, I enjoy it and I do it often, does that make me a completely stupid moron that is always down on the level of the lowest common denominator? No it doesn’t and I’m really sick of reviewers and critics placing people like me in some bottom feeder idiot crowd when all I like to do is go see some crazy action, CGI and shit blowing up. I love Michael Bay movies for these reasons, but that in no way means I’m a mindless sheep that goes to see what Hollywood tells me to see.

    Transformers hits on a level with A LOT of people, its dumb fun and A LOT of people like that, but that doesn’t mean they are completely incompetent moronic brain dead stupid people for wanting to go and enjoy a movie such as this. I love that people who constantly watch Syfy and enjoy garbage like Sharknado, don’t get torn to shreds because they are “stupid” for liking such crap. Bay produces huge budget dumb action movies but I cannot figure out why so many people on the “net” hate him, obviously the general going public that enjoys these types of summer action flicks don’t give a shit what everyone says online. If he was so hated and the Transformer movies so awful, trust me, no one would go see them. Bay can be a complete tool behind the scenes but still not as crazy as Cruise is to some people, I know lots of people that wont see a Tom Cruise movie because they don’t like his “nut job” belief system but I don’t know anyone, outside of forums online that wont go see a Michael Bay movie.

    • Personally, I’d prefer my action flicks to be a lot more detailed and thought-out than the last couple that Christopher Nolan has cranked out. I still have no idea what the point was of anything the villains did in The Dark Knight Rises.

    • I love a good explosion-filled action movie like everyone else. I love turning off my brain for fun and playful movies. I like plenty of flicks that other people deem garbage. To each his own – but T4 is something else.

      Chaz, you know that I hate Bay. We’ve had arguements about it for years now. T4 wasn’t screened here, so I went and saw it on IMAX saturday night. Why? Why put myself through the torture? Because, deep down inside, I want Bay’s next Transformers movie to be like the first one. I actually really like the first movie. And I want to see one like that again. That was my inner hope, but just 30 minutes into T4 I was beating myself up. Boy, did I make a massive Saturday night mistake.

      When I say “to each his own,” I truly mean that. But having seen T4, I feel like it’s the definition of something being dumbed down. I know that you liked it, but I truly believe that this is the dumbing down of blockbusters. It’s sad that quality original movies can’t make it anymore. A blockbuster has to be a franchise to thrive – and that’s where a major part of my disappointment comes in. My urge to the movie-going public is: If it floats your boat, go see as many Transformers movies as you’d like, but please see the creative and original ones too.

    • William Henley

      Personally, as much as I dislike Transformers (okay, I disliked two and three, one was OKAY and I liked it because crap was blowing up) I think I would rather sit through Transformers 2 again over another Christopher Nolan movie. He really lost it after Batman Begins. Okay, Inception was interesting, but I wouldn’t call it good.

      I think we just ought to demand more movies like Edge of Tomorrow and Pacific Rim

      • He lost it after Batman Begins? The Dark Knight with Heath Ledger was amazing on all levels, I loved Inception and it was a great Scifi film that worked for people not even in to Scifi, The Dark Knight Rises did get a bit sloppy but its still better than most action rehashes and I would gladly watch it again over a Transformers movie if I had to choose. Nolan is one of the best directors/writers in the business right now, I cant even say how great Interstellar looks.

        But what I like about Bay is that he doesn’t pretend what his movies are, he knows what he’s making and he’s good at it. He doesn’t care if people like it or not, he’s going to make the movie he wants to make and it just so happens Transformers is still as big as when the first one hit the theaters, its raking in the money and it brings out the fans, for all of the hate Bay gets and as much as I read about how bad and stupid this franchise is, its still one of the biggest hits every time a new one hits. To me, Transformers is the epitome of a summer blockbuster, it doesn’t placate to anyone other than the people that just want to go in and have some fun, nothing deep, nothing philosophical, nothing too dramatic or Oscar worthy. I’m just trying to think when we switched to wanting every movie to mean something or to bring some value to our time. I cant think of the countless films I’ve watched over the years that have done nothing but give me entertainment, they weren’t enlightening, they weren’t thought provoking, I wasn’t blown away by the acting or the directing or the editing or the cinematography, I Just sat there and had fun and that’s all Transformers aims to do and I really cant think of anyone better to do it than Michael Bay 🙂

        • Oh and how do you lump Pacific Rim in there with anything Nolan has done, doesn’t that just contradict your whole reply? Pacific Rim was about as much dumb fun as anything Transformers has been, glaring plot holes, really wooden acting (actually more so than any Transformers movie) and big dumb CGI robot fights. Trust me I love Pacific Rim, but its for the exact same reasons I love any of the Transformers movies, so don’t pretend Pacific Rim is anything more than a big dumb summer blockbuster as well

        • Chaz, shouldn’t it be possible to make a “fun” movie that isn’t insultingly stupid? It doesn’t need to be deep, philosophical, too dramatic or Oscar worthy. It just needs to have a plot that makes coherent sense from Point A to Point B, have action scenes where you can follow what’s happening, and avoid offensive racial caricatures in the so-called comic relief. Movies like that used to get made all the time. Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, Predator, The Terminator and T2, etc. Where are those movies today? Why have our standards fallen so low?

          • William Henley

            Josh is going along the lines I was thinking. You can have a great action movie and have good plot and acting as well. While some Die Hard movies were better than others, all were solid. Demolition Man is excellent. Terminator 1 and 2 are brilliant, and 4 was even fun (let’s not discuss 3). Total Recall. The Alien movies. Iron Eagle, Top Gun, jurassic Park, Star Wars, Edge of Tomorrow, Space Battleship Yamato, Stalingrad, The Matrix, Star Trek (2009), the Bourne movies.

            You can have a fun action movie, and still have a solid story.

            If you like Transformers, that is fine, It is really not my place to dictate to another person what they can and cannot watch and enjoy. I just prefer any movie I watch, be it action, sci-fi, time period piece, romance, comedy, etc – to have a good story behind it.

            Also, let me expand a bit on what I said before. Nolan isn’t making BAD movies (at least not like Bay is). I feel like Nolan is going the way that Burton and Lucas and Spielberg and Abrams have been going – that is, they start to get known for movies that have a specific look or theme, and then it seems like they just make movies to, well, for lack of better words, seem to become like an imitation of their formal selves. In other words, instead of continuing to be ground breaking, they just start doing the same thing over and over again. That doesn’t mean that the movies are necessarially bad, it means that they impress you less and less each movie. With Nolan, after Batman Begins is when it felt that he started slipping – you went into these movies knowing what to expect, and it seems that Nolan is keeping to his style, which we have now seen like a dozen times, so it is not as revelutionary as it was on some of his earlier stuff. So please don’t think I am saying I don’t like Nolan – I am not saying that at all. It’s rather that the director tries too much to live up to their own standards and just fall short of living up to the expecations (perhaps unrealistic and unfairly placed on them).

          • The problem is, is that you and I have a very different view on what makes a movie insultingly stupid. My wife and I loved the new Transformers and not once did I find the humor or story to be on an extremely dumb and low level. I followed the plot perfectly and besides a lack of any info about the dinobots and what they even have to do with anything, everything else made sense, sure it was simple and made to get from action set piece to action set piece, but the movie wasnt about anything more than crazy action set pieces and why you and others have such a hard time understanding that other people like me can just sit there and enjoy it, is beyond my comprehension. Where you see infantile stupidity and racial caricatures, I just see dumb fun. The 80s was full of that crap, even in Die Hard you had big racial and cliched character types, how is this any different? Transformers 2 was pretty bad in this regard and went pretty far overboard on the racial stereotypes, but Age of Extinction didnt really do that, sure we had a samurai Transformer but whats the issue with that? I dont really see one personally.

            The action scenes I could also follow just fine, stuff was slowed down a lot this time around, you knew who all the main Transformers were and it was easy to follow them fighting each other. The movies you look for today are still there, Everything you listed plays to our nostalgia, all of those are total classics in the genre and I would gladly watch those any day over a modern action flick (most of them anyways) but I grew up watching those and they just cant be beat IMO. Transformers is the modern day Die Hard or Terminator 2, no it isnt as smart as T2 but I dont find any more stupid than one man taking on a whole slew of bad guys in an apartment complex either.

            What about the Expendables? How does that compare to Transformers? I love those movies too but even they dont get ripped on as bad as a Bay movie and they are just as dumb and plotless, Expendables 3 looks awesome and I cant wait to see it, but its a typical summer action flick with a shit ton of explosions starring all the action guys from those movies you just posted and its a throwback to those days of 80s and early 90s action, but is it really any different than Transformers, are my standards super low now because I like the Expendables too?

  5. Thulsadoom

    I’ll be honest, we’ll probably get this on blu ray (we rarely go to the cinema any more due to the expense), and we’ll probably enjoy it! 🙂 They’re big daft fun. I also love ‘thinking’ science fiction and I’m dying to see Edge of Tomorrow even more than Transformers (Although I doubt even Edge of Tomorrow is THAT amazingly deep.). but I’m still (probably) going to enjoy Transformers. 🙂

    I’m also a computer programmer who enjoys reading the occasional book on quantum physics or a bit of Jane Austen or Golden Age science fiction, probably after playing a silly shoot-em-up on the xbox, but before I work on the science fiction novel I’m writing… Oh, and I enjoyed idiocracy, as well. What group do I fit into? 😉

    Josh completely agree on the last two Nolan Batmans, and William, I agree on Inception. It was kinda eXistenZ-lite, or an audition to direct the next bond film in places… Nowhere near as deep as it likes to think it is, and full of inconsistencies and plot holes.

    Transformers on the other hand… hell, we know it’s going to be dumb. But at least it doesn’t pretend to be anything more than it is. And sometimes, big dumb action is all you want. Hell, that’s what The Avengers is, and everyone seemed to love that! 😉 (And you really shouldn’t delve too much into the plot there, unless you want the film to fall flat on its face). 😉

    • William Henley

      I didn’t care for Avengers. I felt that it didn’t have enough plot (oh wait, that is what we are discussing. LOL). I didn’t hate it, but I felt it was the weakest superhero movie in the past 15 years – er, okay, one of the weakest, there was that awful Green Lantern, Ghost Rider and Catwoman movie and The Avengers was certainly better than those. Now Captain America I will watch again and again – great action movie, good story

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