Box Office Report: Transformers repeats while Dragon rises

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After debuting last week with the biggest opening weekend of the year with an incredible $8.80 million, Transformers: Age of Extinction has repeated at the top of the Australian box office by taking another $4.84 million over the past weekend. Even with strong competition from returning hits How to Train Your Dragon 2 and 22 Jump Street and relatively strong openings from Rio 2 and Jersey Boys, no one was able to unseat Michael Bay’s robot mash up. The fourth Transformers pic has taken an astonishing US$576 million worldwide since opening last week and looks set to make at least $1 billion. Much of this incredible haul has been made in China, where the film is about to overtake Avatar as the highest grossing movie of all time! Looks like casting some Chinese actors and setting the film’s finale in China was a good idea.

Dreamworks Animation’s brilliant sequel How to Train Your Dragon 2 rose from third spot to second spot this weekend, clearly benefitting from the beginning of school holidays. While the film is on track to make less than its predecessor worldwide, it has been critically acclaimed and will ensure that the Dragon franchise continues. Fox’s Rio 2 opened in third place with an impressive $2.69 million, but reviews generally suggest that the film is not as strong as the first film. However, that won’t stop an inevitably impressive worldwide haul by the end of its run. The top five was rounded out by 22 Jump Street ($2.63 million) and Clint Eastwood’s adaptation of the Broadway musical Jersey Boys ($1.88 million). Art house pic Calvary, which stars Brendan Gleeson (In Bruges) and Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids), did very well to open in the top ten with a limited release.

# Film Title Distributor Box Office
1 TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION PARAMOUNT $4,844,619
2 HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 FOX $2,914,947
3 RIO 2 FOX $2,687,083
4 22 JUMP STREET SONY PICTURES $2,635,177
5 JERSEY BOYS WARNER BROS $1,879,074
6 TINKERBELL AND THE PIRATE FAIRY WALT DISNEY $663,237
7 MALEFICENT WALT DISNEY $619,892
8 THE FAULT IN OUR STARS FOX $491,680
9 BLENDED WARNER BROS $382,953
10 CALVARY PARAMOUNT/TRANSMISSION $366,186

This week sees the release of the sequel to 2011’s unexpectedly awesome reboot Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, takes place a decade after the first film. Mankind has been mostly wiped out by the deadly virus, and the apes have been building their society. The film has received overwhelmingly positive reviews (it’s sitting at 95% on Rotten Tomatoes), and has been compared to The Empire Strikes Back in regards to its ability to expand and improve upon the universe of the first film. Rise is still held in quite high esteem by many movie-goers and the publicity campaign for Dawn has been strong, so expect it to open big this coming weekend.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will be released around the country this Thursday July 10th in 2D and 3D.

All figures from The Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia and Box Office Mojo.