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’.
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