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Weekend Wrap-Up

Apes Not Purged at Weekend Box Office

By John Hamann

July 20, 2014

Never call him a monkey's uncle again.

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Finishing second is The Purge: Anarchy, the follow up to the June 2013 original that opened to $34.1 million. The original set a box office record for R-rated horror, and also was extremely front-loaded, with almost half the opening weekend box office coming in on Friday ($16.8 million), with $3.4 million of that coming from Thursday previews. This time around the numbers are a little softer, but still respectable. Previews for the sequel came in at $2.6 million, and the overall Friday earned $13 million. The weekend result was still front-loaded, but not as heavily as the original, as the Jason Blum-produced sequel earned $28.4 million over the weekend proper.

Considering the original opened to more, one might think Universal might be unhappy with the result, but this is not the case. The original Purge was made for $3 million, and earned almost $90 million worldwide. The sequel cost $9 million, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it earned more on a worldwide basis than the original. The original earned a laughable C Cinemascore; this one did better, earning a B, which is actually a pretty good score in the world of R-rated horror. Critically, The Purge: Anarchy also did pretty good considering, as it earned 53% score at RottenTomatoes, yards better than the 38% rating the original earned. Still, this is just filler at the summer box office, as we wait for better, more interesting films.




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Third is Planes: Fire and Rescue, the follow up to the Cars offshoot released last year. Neither very good nor very successful, Disney releases these like they release their Nature films - without much care, as they are only made to sell blankets, toys and pajamas. The original opened to $22 million, and thankfully this one opened to less, as parents can’t take the pain twice in two years. Planes: Fire and Rescue opened to $18 million this weekend, lower than the original, despite appearing to be a slightly better film. Whereas the original was 26% fresh, this one pulled up a bit, earning a 45% fresh rating (still not very good). The kids seem to like it, though, and that’s what’s important. It earned an A Cinemascore and will give the tykes something to do until Guardians of the Galaxy shows up in two weeks, or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles the following weekend. Both Planes films cost $50 million to make and this one should top out with a similar worldwide gross of the original, in the $200 million ballpark. Still, this is just filler at the summer box office, as we wait for better, more interesting films.

Fourth is Sex Tape, and this one should have opened better at least due to Cameron Diaz’s outfit in the trailer. Unfortunately, word got out quick that this is not a very good or very funny film, and not even Cialis is going to save it. Sex Tape earned only $15 million this weekend, lower than anyone expected. Reviews were abysmal (14% fresh) and even the Cinemascore was in the tank (C+). Sex Tape cost $40 million to make, and is going to have to work hard worldwide to make that back, but Sony won’t lose its shirt on this one. Again, this is just filler at the summer box office, as we wait for better, more interesting films.


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