By Daniel Garris
Transformers: Age of Extinction comfortably led the way over the slow Independence Day weekend frame with $37.05 million. The fourth installment of Paramount's blockbuster sci-fi action franchise was down a sharp, but understandable 63 percent from last weekend's opening weekend performance. Transformers: Age of Extinction has grossed $175.39 million through ten days of release. While that is in line with expectations and places the film on course to be among the higher grossing releases of 2014 thus far domestically, it also places the film a lackluster 23 percent behind the $228.82 million ten-day take of 2011's Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Transformers: Age of Extinction was aided this weekend by the lack of combined strength among the weekend's new wide releases, but will face much tougher competition next weekend when Fox's Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is released on Friday.
Warner's Tammy debuted in second place with $21.58 million. The Melissa McCarthy comedy vehicle performed well with its modest cost in mind, but at the same time did open a bit below pre-release expectations. After grossing $11.73 million on Wednesday and Thursday, Tammy has grossed $33.31 million through five days of release. That places the film 33 percent behind the $49.82 million five-day start of last year's The Heat (which opened on a Friday). McCarthy's films typically display strong holding power at the box office, but whether or not that will be the case with Tammy remains to be seen, especially after the film received a troubling C+ rating on CinemaScore. On a positive note, the film hasn't really displayed signs of front-loading so far with a five-day to three-day ratio of 1.54 to 1.
It was a tight race for places third through sixth this weekend, with only $1.44 million separating third place from sixth place. Sony's 22 Jump Street took third place for the frame with $9.80 million. The successful action comedy sequel starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum was down a solid 38 percent from last weekend. In general, holdovers were helped out this weekend by the relative lack of interest for the new wide releases. 22 Jump Street surpassed the $150 million mark this weekend and has grossed an impressive $159.27 million in 24 days of release.
Fellow Sony release Deliver Us from Evil followed closely behind in fourth place with $9.74 million. The crime thriller starring Eric Bana opened below expectations with a five-day start of $15.25 million. That placed the film's five-day to three-day ratio at 1.57 to 1. Deliver Us from Evil had been positioned to potentially be a summer horror break-out, but given the film's modest start, it appears as though horror fans are waiting for Universal's The Purge: Anarchy later in the month instead. Deliver Us From Evil received a B- rating on CinemaScore.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 rounded out the weekend's top five with $8.96 million. The 3D computer animated sequel from Fox and DreamWorks Animation was down a healthy 32 percent. The 24-day total for How to Train Your Dragon 2 stands at $140.22 million, which places the film an underwhelming 11 percent behind the $158.25 million 24-day take of 2010's How to Train Your Dragon.
Fellow family film Earth to Echo opened in sixth place with an $8.36 million. After a respectable two-day start of $5.20 million, the adventure film from Relativity somewhat surprisingly didn't hold up all that well over the weekend. The film has grossed $13.57 million in five days, which gave it a fairly front-loaded five-day to three-day ratio of 1.62 to 1. Earth to Echo opened a bit below its already modest expectations and failed to capitalize on the relative lack of options for family audiences this summer.
Lionsgate's America landed in eleventh for the weekend with $2.74 million. The documentary from Dinesh D'Souza has grossed $4.06 million through five days of wide release and an additional five days of platform release. The film received an A+ rating on CinemaScore, which strongly suggests that it is being well received by its targeted audience. However, America could still prove to be front-loaded due to the boost it received this weekend from the Independence Day holiday.