Welcome to the Box Office Report, where 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' appeals and the rest is commentary.
1. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (Fox): $73 million in 3,967 theaters.
Boosted by its transition into 3-D and our glowing review, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes took the box office title this week, even outperforming the 2011 2-D installment. Led by Andy Serkis (and with Gary Oldman providing some pre-release controversy), Dawn doubled the gross of last week's leader and fellow sequel, the Transformers.
2. Transformers: The Age of Extinction (Paramount): $16.5 million in 3,913 theaters.
Speak of the devil. The fourth Transformers flick, beset by poor reviews, started from the top and now it's here. After ripping its way through a $100 million opening, the Michael Bay baby dropped to the teens in just its third week. But the franchise has always had global aims where this week it surpassed the half-a-billion dollar mark on international ticket sales alone. A few more weeks should put it within spitting distance of a BILLION.
3. Tammy (Warner Brothers): $12.9 million in 3,465 theaters.
With our mixed review in mind, the Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone project continues to middle at the box office, failing to overwhelm us, despite a massive advertising push. Nevertheless, it's made triple its production budget and so the soft bigotry of low expectations prevail again in Hollywood.
4. 22 Jump Street (Sony): $6.7 million in 2,811 theaters.
After five weeks, 22 Jump Street remains a phenomenon. The $50 million sequel has succeeded in what's debatably the twilight of the comedy era and done so mostly with the support of American audiences. Does that excuse several poorly-timed Maya Angelou jokes? Mayhaps.
5. How to Train Your Dragon 2 (Fox): $5.9 million in 2,885 theaters.
This sequel found itself an odd pair with 22 Jump Street, which was released the same week. Their trajectories have been almost identical (with Tatum/Hill always slightly ahead), despite the high expectations and the bankability of animated films. Nevertheless, How the Train Your Dragon did some tidy work internationally.