Sub-Par Openers Slow July 4th Box Office
By John Hamann
July 6, 2014
Finishing second is Tammy, another Melissa McCarthy movie where in the marketing materials she seems to be either an angry drunk or someone with serious mental issues (or both). To some, that’s funny, to others, it may make you want to rent The Heat again. Tammy did not do The Heat kind of business this weekend, and already the shine may be coming off of McCarthy. After earning $18.2 million over Wednesday and Thursday, Tammy’s Friday came in at only $6.4 million, or less than half of The Heat’s first Friday gross of $13.2 million, and lower than Identity Thief’s first Friday of $11.1 million. Critics hated it (27% fresh at RottenTomatoes) and audiences hated it (C+ Cinemascore, or a nice way of saying FAIL). Things picked up a bit for Tammy over the rest of the weekend (but only due to the Friday July 4th), and the weekend estimate comes in at a comparatively soft $21.2 million. The Heat opened to $39 million and Identity Thief to $34.6 million, so obviously the McCarthy train has blown a tire.
The good news for Tammy is that it’s reported to have only cost $20 million to make. While true on paper, it’s widely known that McCarthy traded her usual salary for a back end profit percentage, so likely for every $50 million this one makes, you can add $5 million to the budget. Tammy would have also cost a fortune to advertise, as commercials and promotion seemed to be everywhere leading up to release. From Warner Bros., this one is going to have to play well for the studio to find a profit, and at this point, I think that’s questionable. For now, Tammy has earned $32.9 million after five days of release.
Third is Deliver Us From Evil, our first horror flick of the summer (unless you count Age of Extinction). This one had little impact on audiences, as it earned only $5.5 million prior to the weekend, and $9.5 million over the weekend proper, for a five-day gross of $15 million. This one was made for $20 million, but with reviews at 32% fresh and a B- Cinemascore, it’s going to have to work hard for Screen Gems to see a profit, despite the low budget. This one will be a memory quickly, as we have eight new releases coming over the next three weeks.
Fourth place goes to 22 Jump Street, which gets some competition from Tammy this weekend. Jump Street earned another $9.4 million, but was off 41% as the McCarthy flick stole some audience. Still, the $50 million film has lifted its domestic take to $158.9 million, and has brought its worldwide total above $225 million.
How To Train Your Dragon 2 finishes in fifth, as it finds a decent hold over the July 4th weekend. Now in its fourth weekend, the DreamWorks Animation release took in $8.8 million, and dropped only 34% compared to the previous weekend, when it earned $13.2 million. The $145 million release seems to be starting to find its legs domestically, but it may be too late for Fox and DWA. This one needs more than $400 million worldwide to see a profit, and currently has earned only $152 million from overseas theaters. Domestically, How To Train Your Dragon 2 has pulled in $140 million.