ZAMM.COM: Summer Summary

 
By Martin Grove, ZAMM.com



Summer summary: A few more weeks of summer moviegoing are still ours to enjoy, but by now it's clear who this summer's big box office winners are.

The big guns began firing May 2 with the arrival of Columbia and Marvel Enterprises' The Amazing Spider-Man 2. While the summer that followed wasn't all that Hollywood would have wished for, it still had its share of blockbuster franchise hits and two late summer sleepers that will launch new franchises.

The first sleeper was Marvel Studios and Disney's Guardians of the Galaxy, which set a best-August-ever opening weekend record with $94.3 million. Its cume after two weeks is a marvelous--or should we say Marvelous--$175.9 million.

Galaxy gave up the top spot on the boxoffice chart last weekend to the opening of a second late summer sleeper--the PG-13 rated 3D action adventure comedy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon Movies and Platinum Dunes. Its way better than expected $65 million launch is the second half of a late summer box office bonanza that began with Galaxy. This sizzling reboot of the long forgotten 30 year old Turtles series is now a valuable new Paramount franchise.

For Turtles to capture tenth place for the summer, it must gross about $85 million more through Labor Day weekend, which could happen over the next three weeks. Turtles playability to kids should help it since there's not a lot of kid-friendly product in the marketplace at this point.

Galaxy's already eighth for the summer and will definitely be moving up in the next three weeks. If it continues to play as well as it is, it could wind up topping the summer chart. To do so, it needs just $67 million more to swirl past Transformers: Age of Extinction's $242.9 million cume. Galaxy's fortunate that T4's already been playing for seven weeks and has done most of its business. Last weekend T4 mopped up another $590,000 in ticket sales. Because it's early in Galaxy's run, its current grossing power is much greater. With an earlier start Galaxy would certainly already be much higher on the list, but its late summer timing paid off in a big way by putting it in theatres during a less crowded time when moviegoers could discover something new and original.

That same smart late summer timing could also help this week's three new arrivals--20th Century Fox's-R rated action comedy Let's Be Cops, opening Wed., Aug. 13 at about 3,000 theatres; Lionsgate and Millennium Films' PG-13 rated action thriller The Expendables 3, opening Aug. 15 at about 3,000 theatres; and The Weinstein Company and Walden Media's PG-13 rated sci-fi drama The Giver, opening Aug. 15 at about 2,800 theatres.




Cops' strongest tracking is with under-25 females and it's doing almost equally well with under-25 males. It's always a good sign if a film's appealing to both younger demos. E3 is tracking best and in double digits with under-25 males.

Giver's tracking best and in double digits with under-25 females.

Here's a quick summary of how the summer's biggest box office winners shape up through last weekend.

1. Paramount and Hasbro's 3D sci-fi action adventure Transformers: Age of Extinction tops the Top 10 right now with $242.9 million. But that could change if Galaxy continues to set off box office fireworks.

Directed by Michael Bay, who also directed the franchise's first three episodes, T4 stars Mark Whalberg, Nicola Peltz and Jack Reynor.

T4 opened June 27 to $100 million. It was tracking in double digits as an overall first choice for moviegoers to see and was doing best and almost equally well with men under and over 25. Better yet, it also boasted double digit scores from women under and over 25.

2. Walt Disney Pictures and Roth Films' PG-rated 3D action adventure Maleficent takes second place with $236.1 million. It opened May 30 to $69.4 million. From first time feature director Robert Stromberg, whose production designer credits include Avatar and Alice in Wonderland, it stars Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning and Sharito Copley.

It was tracking in double digits overall and showing tremendous strength with 25-plus females, the moms-with-kids audience that family films need to attract.

3. 20th Century Fox and Marvel Entertainment's PG-13-rated 3D sci-fi action adventure X-Men: Days of Future Past is third with $232.1 million. It opened May 23 to $90.8 million. Directed by Bryan Singer, it stars Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen and Hugh Jackman. Past was tracking in double digits when it opened, showing its greatest strength with under-25 males and doing almost as well with men over 25.

4. Columbia Pictures and Marvel Enterprises' PG-13-rated 3D fantasy action adventure The Amazing Spider-Man 2 ranks fourth on the summer chart with $202.6 million. It opened May 2 to $91.6 million. Directed by Marc Webb, it stars Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Jamie Foxx.

Spidey was tracking in strong double digits when it opened and doing best and equally well with men under and over 25.

5. Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures' PG-13-rated 3D sci-fi action thriller Godzilla comes in fifth with $200.2 million. It opened May 16 to $93.2 million. Directed by Gareth Edward, it stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche and Sally Hawkins.

It was tracking in double digits when it opened and doing best with 25-plus males and nearly as well with under-25 men.

6. 20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment's PG-13-rated 3D sci-fi action thriller Dawn of the Planet of the Apes places sixth with $197.8 million. It opened July 11 to $72.6 million. Directed by Matt Reeves, it stars Gary Oldman, Keri Russell and Andy Serkis. On opening, Dawn was tracking strongly in double digits as an overall first choice for moviegoers. It did best with 25-plus males and next best with under-25 males.

7. The R-rated action crime comedy 22 Jump Street from Columbia, MGM and Original Films, ranks seventh with $189.5 million. It opened June 13 to $57.1 million. Directed by Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, who directed the original 2012 episode 21 Jump Street, it reteams 21's stars Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill and Ice Cube.

22 was tracking in double digits when it opened. It was doing best with under-25 males and next best with under-25 females.

8. Marvel Studios and Disney's PG-13-rated 3D sci-fi action adventure Guardians of the Galaxy is a late arrival that's already leapfrogged its way into eighth place with $175.9 million. It opened Aug. 1 to $94.3 million. Directed by James Gunn, it stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Dave Bautista.

Galaxy held up very well last weekend, its second in theatres, with $41.5 million in ticket sales, down just 56 percent. By Labor Day, the official end to Hollywood's summer season, it could be giving T4 a run for first place on the summer Top 10.

Guardians was tracking in double digits as an overall first choice. It did best with under-25 males and nearly as well with men over 25. It also tracked in double digit with women under and over 25.

9. DreamWorks Animation and Fox's 3D PG animated comedy How to Train Your Dragon 2 is ninth with $170.1 million. It opened June 13 to $49.5 million. Directed by Dean DeBlois, it stars the voices of Jay Baruchel, Kristen Wiig and America Ferrara. When it opened Dragon 2 was tracking best and in double digits with under-25 females. It was doing nearly as well with both over-25 women and under-25 men.

10. Universal Pictures and Good Universe's R-rated sleeper hit comedy Neighbors rounds out the list in tenth place with $149.9 million. It opened May 9 to $49 million. Directed by Nicholas Stoller, it stars Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne and Zac Efron. Neighbors was tracking in double digits on opening. Its strongest showing was with under-25 females and it did almost as well with under-25 men.

Bottom line: With Galaxy and Turtles both enjoying hot late summer ticket sales, Galaxy could edge T4 out of first place and Turtles might nose Neighbors out of tenth.

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