Fox's Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was off to a strong start this weekend with $72.61 million. The 3D sci-fi action sequel opened ahead of its lofty pre-release expectations and an impressive 32.5 percent stronger than the $54.81 million debut of 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was helped out by a number of factors this weekend, including very strong critical reviews, the already strong reception to Rise of the Planet of the Apes, a relatively empty marketplace for the middle of July and the added advantage of higher priced 3D admissions (which Rise of the Planet of the Apes didn't have).
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes opened with $27.65 million on Friday (which included an estimated $4.1 million from late night shows on Thursday), fell 8 percent on Saturday to take in $25.50 million and declined 24 percent on Sunday to gross $19.47 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at an encouraging 2.63 to 1. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes received a solid A- rating on CinemaScore, which is also an encouraging sign. Going forward, the film will hope to follow in the footsteps of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which held up very nicely back in 2011 (that film registered a total gross to opening weekend ratio of 3.23 to 1).
After topping the box office for the past two weeks; Transformers: Age of Extinction fell to second this weekend with $16.30 million. The fourth installment of Paramount's blockbuster sci-fi action franchise fell a sharp 56 percent, as it took a clear hit from the arrival of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in the marketplace this weekend. Transformers: Age of Extinction surpassed the $200 million mark this weekend and has grossed $208.83 million through 17 days of release. While that is in line with the lower end of expectations, it also places the film a significant 27.5 percent behind the $287.87 million 17-day take of 2011's Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
Warner's Tammy was down one spot from last weekend to claim third with $12.56 million. The Melissa McCarthy comedy vehicle was down a solid 42 percent, though it should also be noted that last weekend's performance was deflated a bit by the film's Wednesday opening. Tammy continues to perform well (especially with its modest price tag in mind) with a twelve-day take of $56.999 million. That places the film 38.5 percent behind the $92.64 million twelve-day take of last year's The Heat. Tammy will face new direct competition next weekend when Sony releases fellow comedy Sex Tape on Friday.
High-profile holdovers 22 Jump Street and How to Train Your Dragon 2 claimed fourth and fifth place this weekend with respective takes of $6.50 million and $6.07 million. Sony's 22 Jump Street was down 34 percent from last weekend, while Fox's How to Train Your Dragon 2 fell just 32 percent. Both films were aided this weekend by the overall marketplace being slow by usual mid-July standards. Respective 31-day totals stand at an impressive $171.76 million for 22 Jump Street and an underwhelming $152.28 million for How to Train Your Dragon 2.
In their second weekend of release, Relativity's Earth to Echo and Sony's Deliver Us from Evil placed in sixth and seventh respectively with $5.49 million and $4.75 million. Earth to Echo was down a healthy 34 percent from last weekend, while Deliver Us from Evil was down an underwhelming 51 percent. Respective twelve-day totals stand at a respectable $24.59 million for Earth to Echo and at a softer than expected $25.05 million for Deliver Us from Evil.
Upon expanding into moderate release, The Weinstein Company's Begin Again placed in ninth with $2.82 million. The John Carney directed film starring Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo averaged a respectable $3,004 for the frame from 939 locations. The 17-day total for Begin Again stands at $5.17 million.
On the platform front, IFC Films' Boyhood was off to a very strong start with $387,618 from five locations in New York and Los Angeles. That gave the critically acclaimed Richard Linklater directed film an impressive per-location average of $77,524. That represented the second highest per-screen average of 2014 thus far for a platform launch (behind only The Grand Budapest Hotel). Boyhood will expand into additional locations next weekend.