Transformers Tops Weak July 4th Frame

Despite a large drop, “Transformers: Age of Extinction” is set to top the U.S. box-office for the second weekend in a row – this time during a relatively quiet July 4th holiday weekend. Studios have front and rear loaded the Summer, leaving a nearly month long period that’s free of big-budget tentpoles aside from “Transformers”.

As a result, the Michael Bay epic pulled in $10.6 million on Friday and looks to be headed towards a $35 million gross. Three relatively low-budget studio newcomers hit this weekend with Melissa McCarthy’s “Tammy” proving the best with $6.4 million and second place on Friday. Family friend “Earth to Echo” came in fourth with $2.6 million followed by “Deliver Us From Evil” with $2.5 million and in fifth place.

The combined grosses of all three are still less than the anaemic opening day of last summer’s costly Disney flop “The Lone Ranger,” but to be fair all three opened on Wednesday and thus have already lost some steam. All three cost less than $30 million (in some cases a lot less) and so will end up in profit.

Yet movie going looks to be sluggish this weekend, the Top 10 pulling in $33 million on Friday as compared with last year’s $79 million for the Friday of this weekend last year (when “Despicable Me 2” dominated the frame). More details to come tomorrow when the proper three-day estimates come in.