The Fourth of July weekend might have brought fireworks, but the holiday box office didn’t close with a big bang.
With no new popcorn blockbusters opening, “Transformers: Age of Extinction” easily triumphed.
The fourth entry in Paramount’s Michael Bay-directed robot franchise – Mark Wahlberg leads the new film, replacing Shia LaBeouf – took in $53,792,000 for the five-day period, according to studio estimates.
“Transformers” is the first summer flick to hold the No. 1 spot for two consecutive weeks, and it has generated nearly $175 million after just 10 days of release. After this weekend’s bounty, the film has logged more than $400 million in international ticket sales.
New Line Cinema’s Melissa McCarthy-starrer “Tammy” landed in second after pulling in $32.9 million in its first five days.
“Tammy” put a twist on the buddy road trip film. McCarthy plays the shameless title character who, after an awfully bad day that includes getting sacked at work and finding out her husband is having an affair, decides to hit the road with her boozy grandmother (Susan Sarandon).
The R-rated comedy, which cost $20 million to make and was co-written by McCarthy and her husband, Ben Falcone (he also directed the film), opened to largely negative reviews, but the actress has proven to be a reliable box-office draw since her breakout in 2011’s “Bridesmaids.”
Last year McCarthy anchored “The Heat,” a buddy cop comedy with Sandra Bullock that grossed nearly $160 million in the U.S. and Canada, and “Identity Thief,” which hauled in $134 million despite murky reviews.
Although it was highly unlikely that “Tammy” was going to give the hulking robots of “Transformers” much competition, the film’s solid opening leads the small slate of new offerings debuting this week.
“We’re really happy with ‘Tammy.’ This was a $20-million production and it was homegrown by Melissa and her husband Ben,” said Dan Fellman, the studio’s president of domestic distribution. “It’s a nice start for us. We’re in good shape and there’s a lot of summer left.”
Landing in No. 3 was another new film. “Deliver Us From Evil,” the supernatural crime flick Jerry Bruckheimer produced for Screen Gems, took in $15 million since its Wednesday opening.
Starring Eric Bana, Édgar Ramírez, Joel McHale and Olivia Munn, the film is based on the book “Beware the Night” by retired New York Police Department officer-turned-demonologist Ralph Sarchie and journalist Lisa Collier Cool and cost $30 million to make.
Between the holiday falling on a Friday and the lack of a big event film, opening box office receipts were remarkably thinner than in recent years. In comparison, “Despicable Me 2,” which opened during the Fourth of July weekend in 2013, debuted with a whopping $83.5 million.
“It was definitely a lack of content this weekend,” Fellman said. “‘Transformers’ did $36 million [over the weekend]; we did a little over $21 million and it was a big gap between the second and third movie. This weekend just wasn’t as strong in terms of variety. But there are years you have great summers and difficult Christmases. And years where summer doesn’t work but Christmas does.”
In its fourth week, Sony’s “22 Jump Street” continues to perform. The hit comedy sequel took in an additional $9.4 million. The Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill buddy cop flick, while down 41% from last weekend, has now outperformed its predecessor, with $158 million in sales.
The family film “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” in its fourth week, pulled in $8.75 million over the weekend, bringing its total gross to $140 million.
Despite largely favorable reviews and a drought of family films, Relativity Media’s PG-rated “Earth to Echo” took in just $13.5 million since it opened on Wednesday.
Directed by first-timer Dave Green and produced by Andrew Panay, the film was originally greenlighted by Disney before Alan Horn took over as chairman of the studio.
Relativity acquired the film from Disney in 2013 and it cost the studio $13 million.