It was a fairly slow weekend at the box office, as it sometimes is on a weekend when everyone is off of school and work and there are outdoor barbecues and fireworks to attend to. This weekend was especially slow – indeed, the worst Independence Day weekend since 1999, with the top 12 earning $118.5 milion, down 47 percent from last year. In addition, the weekend’s new releases were fairly sparse, and so the fourth Transformers installment, despite taking a nearly 64 percent tumble from the previous weekend, managed to hold on to the top spot with $36.4 million and $174 million overall domestically. It’s still a fair ways behind the previous two installments in the franchise, but should end up in the $250 million range when all is said and done.
The weekend’s new releases were kind of a mixed bag. The big winner of the crop was Melissa McCarthy’s latest, Tammy, which took in $21.2 million over the weekend and $32.9 million over the five-day long holiday. That’s lower than her previous two starring openings and lower than last year’s We’re the Millers, a similarly-themed comedy, but its budget was only $20 million, so the film’s already turning profits despite the low numbers. The Eric Bana-starring ghost thriller Deliver Us From Evil didn’t do much, opening in third place with $9.5 million and $15 million for the five-day period, suggesting that the long national nightmare of too many exorcism movies is finally coming to an end. And the sci-fi E.T.-ripoff-looking found footage movie Earth to Echo took in $8.3 million in sixth place and $13.5 million for the five-day period, one of the worst openings to date for a found-footage movie, suggesting that the long national nightmare of that trend is also waning.
Also opening was Dinesh D’Souza’s latest screed against the horrors of American liberalism, America, which took in $2.75 million in eleventh place, about half of what his previous screed, 2016: Obama’s America, took in two years ago. Despite the snark that has pervaded much of the writing about the film, it does seem to have found an audience, since it received an A+ Cinemascore and will probably end up with a decent-for-a-documentary gross of around $10 million.
Next week brings the latest installment in the Planet of the Apes franchise and Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, both appealing to very different audiences.