This summer has completely wiped out all of this year’s gains over 2013. In April the 2014 box office was way up over 2013. On July 1 it had crashed to -1%. Just prior to this weekend some analysts showed Summer 2014 down anywhere from 13% to 15% over last year. By the time the 4th of July weekend shakes out Monday morning, things will look a lot worse. This holiday weekend is down a whopping 40% over last year.
“Transformers: Age of Extinction,” as expected, came in first with a second weekend haul of $55 million over the five-day holiday. As of Monday, the $210 million production will sit at $176 million domestic and $600 to $650 million worldwide.
Melissa McCarthy’s hideous “Tammy” will under-perform big-time with a debut of only $32 million over 5 days. With the holiday weekend all to itself, the R-rated comedy fell way short of the debuts of “Neighbors” ($49 million in 3 days) and “22 Jump Street” ($57 million in 3 days). Although “Tammy” was produced for around $20 million and won’t lose money, everyone involved knows a prime piece of release-date real estate has been squandered with a terrible investment.
The children’s film “Earth to Echo” came in third with a dismal debut of $15 million over 5 days. After 4 weeks, “22 Jump Street” is finally slowing down. If there’s one film that over-performed this summer it was this. By Monday the comedy sequel will sit somewhere around $160 million.
This weekend’s other newcomer, “Deliver Us From Evil” also tanked. Over 5 days, the demonic horror film grossed only $15 million.
There are no numbers I can find on Dinesh D’Souza’s “America.” The conservative filmmaker’s defense of our country and follow-up to his huge hit “2016” didn’t crack the top 10, but it was also released on only a little over 1000 screens.
What a lousy summer.
Last year, “White House Down,” “The Lone Ranger,” and “After Earth” all bombed spectacularly. Although there have been no similar-sized bombs this year, no title has yet to spectacularly over-perform, while more than one has under-performed.
“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” barely broke $200 million and “Godzilla” fell just short with $197 million. Tom Cruise’s “Edge of Tomorrow” might nudge $100 million.
Though not expensive, bottom-line shattering bombs, “Clint Eastwood’s “Jersey Boys” and Adam Sandler’s “Blended” both tanked.
Bright spots are “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” ($225 million) and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” ($257 million). Solid but that’s all.
Nothing so far has crossed $300 million. Hell, if you index for inflation and the number of tickets sold, “Godzilla” lost to its much-hated 1998 predecessor.
“Transformers: Age of Extinction” is the only film this summer to open over $100 million (just barely), but with a 61% drop its second weekend, that magic $300 million domestic gross is looking unlikely.
Sure, worldwide the numbers are much better but it’s more costly to advertise overseas and studios only recoup 25% of a film’s grosses from China. That number is closer to 50% here in North America.
Something bizarre happened to the box office this summer. It might be that too many blockbusters were front-loaded one on top of another or it might be something more.
Hollywood’s already cocky about Summer 2015. “Ted 2,” “Jurassic World,” “Avengers 2,” “Mad Max: Road Fury,” “Fast and Furious 7” and a new Terminator are all looking like sure things. But my guess is that last year, so were a number of this summer’s titles.
Deadline has the full Top 10 here.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC