The latest chapter in the popular Transformers saga, Age of Extinction, hit theaters this weekend and cleaned up big time in the process. The newest film from Michael Bay became the first film of 2014 to clear $100 million in its opening weekend. Nothing else came close.
In fact, $100 million is the exact number being reported by Paramount Pictures for its domestic gross on 4,233 theaters. Forty seven percent of the gross came from 3D equipped screens, which was down from the 60% 3D showings contributed to the $97 million earned three years ago by Transformers: Dark of the Moon. The Transformers: Age of Extinction opening weekend $100 million haul ranks second for a three-day opening weekend gross for a Transformers feature (Revenge of the Fallen earned $108 million in 2009). It should be noted however that each of the three previous films in the series opened mid-week whereas Age opened this past Friday.
While Age brought forth a new leading man (Mark Wahlberg, replacing Shia LaBeouf), supporting cast with Nicola Peltz and Jack Reynor, and set of characters, it didn’t necessarily change the stance of film critics. Film scribes nationwide slammed the latest adventures of Optimus Prime and his pals, once again directed by Michael Bay, but audiences could care less what the press had to say when it comes to these films. The market has been starved for a big event film such as Age of Extinction, one that had across-the-board appeal. Paramount marketed the hell out of the film and the audiences responded in droves. Not surprisingly, the audience for Age was 64% male. More surprising was the age range: 58% was over the age of 25.
With the July 4th holiday just around the corner and no competition in sight, Age of Extinction should continue to pull in big business prior to the arrival of the highly anticipated Dawn of the Planet of the Apes on July 11. By the time Caesar and his simian pals show up, Marky Mark and the Robotic Bunch should have a cool $250 million in the bank. How much further it goes beyond there is anyone’s guess. The previous chapters have all cleared $300 million domestically and this one may do so as well if word-of-mouth is strong enough.
One area Paramount has nothing to worry about is that lucrative foreign market. This weekend alone from 37 markets, and this is with the 2014 FIFA World Cup still going on, Age of Extinction earned a massive $201 million. A staggering $90 million of that gross came from one market alone: China (part of the film takes place there). Dark of the Moon earned $168 million in China three years ago and Age of Extinction should have no issue earning $200 million or more from that market. This market alone should help make Age of Extinction the next billion-dollar global hit.
In second place this weekend was 22 Jump Street with an estimated $15.4 million from 3,426 screens, a decrease of 44% from last weekend. With $140 million in the bank, the comedy has surpassed the 2012 original’s $138 million final gross. The film is on course to finish around $170 million. Overseas totals stand at $54 million.
Staying put in third place this weekend was Fox/Dreamworks’ How to Train Your Dragon 2 with an estimated $13.1 million from 3,750 theaters. Off 47% the sequel has earned $121.8 million and could work its way to $160 million. Foreign totals for the film stand at $106.1 million thus far.
After debuting at number one last weekend, Think Like a Man Too got the wind knocked out of it and dove 64% to land in fourth place in its second go-around on 2,225 screens with an estimated $10.4 million. After ten days the sequel has earned $48 million and should finish near the $65 million mark, substantially lower than the first feature’s $91 million but still profitable for Sony given the $24 million production cost.
Rounding out the top five after crossing the $200 million mark was the durable Disney smash Maleficent with $8.2 million from 3,073 theaters. Off only 36%, the second lowest in the top ten outside of Chef , the Angelina Jolie blockbuster has earned $201.8 million and could wind down near the $225 million mark. Foreign totals stand tall at $383.7 million.
The remainder of the top ten is as follows:
6. Jersey Boys (Warner) $7.6 million (-43%); $27.3 million
7. Edge of Tomorrow (Warner) $5.2 million (-47%); $84.1 million
8. The Fault in Our Stars (Fox) $4.8 million (-44%); $109.5 million
9. X-Men: Days of Future Past (Fox) $3.3 million (-46%); $223.3 million
10. Chef (Open Road Films) $1.6 million (-3.2%); $19.4 million
Wednesday brings the openings of Tammy, Earth to Echo and Deliver Us From Evil. Watch for Transformers: Age of Extinction to rule the July 4th holiday weekend without breaking a sweat.