Weekend Box Office: ‘Transformers’ Dominates Worst July 4th Weekend Since 1999

If it seemed to you like there wasn’t anything worth seeing at the multiplex this weekend (good luck finding Snowpiercer if you’re not in a major market), you weren’t alone. ‘Transformers’ easily dominated a weak field despite plummeting almost 64% from its opening weekend, grossing an estimated $36.4 million domestic for the weekend, for a total of more than $575 million worldwide. The US wasn’t all to blame for that, though, even if Michael Bay tries to include an American flag in every third shot, as almost 70% of the total gross has come from international markets. Way to go, jackasses. Maybe next time try to adopt something of ours that’s actually good for a change, like In N Out, or soda with ice in it.

The three new releases, ‘Tammy,’ ‘Deliver Us From Evil,’ and ‘Earth To Echo’ managed $21 million, $9.5 million, and $8.2 million, respectively, which isn’t great, but none cost too much to produce, and with ‘Echo’ the only one breaking 50% on RottenTomatoes (at 51%), expectations weren’t exactly sky high. ‘Earth To Echo’ was a found-footage style movie aimed at kids that Disney sold to Relativity, suggesting that they knew it wasn’t going to do very well. Hopefully Fox similarly sees the found-footage writing on the wall before their Fantastic Four reboot comes out. ‘Deliver Us From Evil’ also had comic book implications (ie, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN THE WORLD), as director Scott Derrickson will be handling ‘Dr. Strange’ for Marvel/Disney. Which doesn’t seem like such a hot idea after ‘Evil’s’ middling box office and 32% RottenTomatoes score. But after the Edgar Wright debacle, it’s debatable how much the director even matters anymore on a Marvel Disney movie. At this point, it’s just the name they slap on there to attract actors to their toy commercial.

‘Snowpiercer,’ incidentally, which is actually pretty good, managed a not-so-hot $4800 per screen at 250 screens. I want to complain that it didn’t open in more locations, but it’s certainly not for everyone. Still, you’d think they could’ve advertised it a little bit, given that Captain Freakin’ America is the main character. I went in with virtually no idea what it was about, and I write a goddamn movie site for a living. Not everything’s going to be ‘Transformers,’ but most movies, a lot of them pretty good, never even get a chance.

Dinesh D’Souza’s ‘America,’ which boldly asks the question, “America: Pretty f*ckin’ great, right?”, earned $2.75 million for the weekend, less than half of D’Souza’s last movie, ‘2016: Obama’s America.’ Oh darn. I guess it’s a good thing he used part of that budget to promote himself (allegedly). It’s not as easy to sell a doc without your secret Muslim boogie man and black families arguing over Monopoly while Arab music plays, I guess. Someone may need to take a transparently-pandering-to-the-lowest-common-denominator lesson from Michael Bay. Though ‘America’ did get an A+ Cinemascore, which is sort of like asking the crowd at a monster truck rally if they like trucks.

All in all, box office was down 47% from the same weekend last year, and had the the worst Independence Day weekend since 1999. But that’s what happens when you’ve got Transformers opening the weekend before and Dawn of Planet of The Apes opening the weekend after, and the only thing in between has Melissa McCarthy doing the robot in a parking lot. Nonetheless, I’m sure everything will be fine and the cocaine will continue to flow very soon.

[Forbes, BoxOfficeMojo]