Summer Box Office Down Nearly 20%

Transformers Age of Extinction

The summer box office is down nearly 20% following a July 4th holiday weekend that failed to ignite many fireworks at the multiplexes.

Despite hits such as “Transformers: Age of Extinction” and “22 Jump Street,” domestic ticket sales have topped out at $2.3 billion from the first weekend in May through Independence Day weekend, off 19.3% from $2.8 billion through the same period in 2013, according to Rentrak.

Lackluster receipts have pushed the total for the year down as well. Currently, the overall box office is off 3.8% from last year, according to That’s a steep drop-off considering that going into the summer, the stateside box office was up nearly 9%.

“When you look at the overall picture and the percentages it’s not pretty at this point,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak. “Thank goodness we have ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ coming, because we need it. Boy, do we need it.”

Compounding issues was a July 4th weekend that saw ticket sales fall nearly 45% compared with last year’s holiday. In place of “Despicable Me 2,” the domestic box office saw the introduction of a trio of mid-budget productions –“Tammy,” “Deliver Us From Evil” and “Earth to Echo” — that struggled to draw crowds away from barbecues and fireworks displays.

Given the slow-down, 2014 will likely fall short of last year’s record of $10.9 billion in receipts. This year’s crop of sequels and superhero films just couldn’t match the box office heft of “Iron Man 3,” “World War Z” and “Monsters University.”

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  1. Joe says:

    Sequels, dumb scripts written for international audiences, no fresh ideas, no relate-able stars. Screw Hollywood.

  2. Lee says:

    I could not believe the movies that they released this July 4th. Absolutely none of them appealed to me. Why was “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” not released during the holiday weekend? That would have been great. Or “Snowpiercer” for that matter. I am, however, looking forward to “Lucy” as are my 22 y/o and 19 y/o sons.

  3. biuro plus says:

    thanx for great info

  4. Amos says:

    That’s because Snowpiercer wasn’t given wide-release and blockbuster marketing. Instead this nation gets crap like Transformers.

    • msmessica says:

      Couldn’t agree more. I’m very curious about the VOD sales on that, if they will be released. Action movies are one of the few genres that still do well in theaters, I’m really curious to see someone extrapolate what it might have made if it had a proper release.

  5. Jimmi Shrode says:

    How about making better movies? These movies are dumb, repetitive and lacking anything worth seeing. I did see Snowpiercer and that was actually pretty decent. Let’s not speak of the remakes. I have seen those movies and they were better.

  6. Alex says:

    Have they considered releasing better movies? It’s hard to be excited for a Transformers movie after the last 3 were so terrible. Also, maybe figure out a way to stop people from talking and texting so that decent people will actually want to go to a theater.

  7. Mily says:

    The Best movie has to be How To Train Your Dragon 2. It gears to both adult and kids. This movie was out in Imax 3d only 2 weeks then to be completely taken over by Transformers. So people who wanted to see How To train Your Dragon 2 in Imax 3d were ousted. Also after Transfomers came out it was dropped from a lot of Theaters. Disappointed with this. If you really want to see a good movie with an actual storyline that will make you cry and laugh and awesome graphics go see How To Train Your Dragon 2

  8. moebius22 says:

    Even with 3D ticket sales inflating the numbers, Hollywood is still down.

  9. phyllis miyauchi says:

    It isn’t just the bad economy. What junk Hollywood is offering. We looked for a movie to attend during the weekend and couldn’t find a decent one.

  10. harry georgatos says:

    The diverse choices simply are not there at this point in time. More of the same bland films may get teens into the cinema but that’s about it.

  11. Paul lane says:

    No surprise, Bay’s Transformer 4 is terrible.
    2015 , that is the year that will break records.

  12. Well, maybe not so much – since the last few years the typical summer movies are starting April 5th – so if you just do the big dozen movies from April to August it might be the same as the big dozen from the strictly summer months in other years, I don’t know.

    • Michael Anthony says:

      Well said. Traditional summer s Memorial Day to Labor Day. Quit front loading before summer even starts! It makes your moans and groans ring hollow.

      And, maybe offer some blockbusters that offer something new? At my age, I’m Spdey, Transformers and other super hero’s, burned out!!! Give me something new or the beach winsout eevery time!!:

      • I feel bad for Spider-Man. Not Sony, not any of the people, I feel bad for Spidey. ALL 5 Spider-Man films have DEcreased in domestic grosses by $40/50mil each outing. They should just STOP, no one is benefitting from the Marvel / Sony deal where they have to keep working on it, so it’s destined to keep getting worse, and if Marvel ever gets it back no one cares by then!

  13. Pixworks says:

    I think there were too many films that were front-loaded (Godzilla, Fault in Our Stars), well-recieved movies coming short of expectations (Edge of Tomorrow, How to Train Your Dragon 2), and not good movies making a ton of cash (Transformers 4, Think Like a Man Too).

  14. Looks like the economy has finally found Hollywood. 76 million in poverty and 47 million on food-stamps. Too bad theatres don’t accept EBT cards.

  15. JT says:

    Domestic box office is neglected, I don’t know why Paramount rather devote so much time chasing Chinese money.

    • Nothing wrong with responding to an emerging market. It’s just good business, and movies with a more global approach should only mean better movies, not worse. THE BIG PROBLEM is that it inflates grosses perhaps more than they deserve, and every damn action movie is $150 mil + because there’s a Chinese lifesaving intertube tossed out to the underperformers.

  16. spirit_of_58 says:

    Perhaps the box office would be more healthy if the films were better?

    • joedsavage says:

      You got that right! Way too much of the same. Come on Hollyland more adults would go to the movie theaters if there were really good films with really good actors–not constant super hero’s and costumed thespians fighting lizards,machines and sweaty monkey’s. Enough remakes and computer crap–got it???

    • Heyo says:

      What John above said. It’s been one of the best summers in terms of movie quality I’ve seen in a while. How To Train Your Dragon 2 was one of the best animated movies I’ve seen in a while. It’s expected to do far worse than its predecessor in money earned and tanked Dreamworks’ stock. Edge of Tomorrow was intelliegent and used its concept for some really creative ideas. It will be lucky to break even. X-Men…OK, that one is actually going to make money, though it’s not a hot seller in America. 22 Jump Street was hilarious and yeah, it will make money too.

      I just think people don’t really care about what’s out at the moment, rather than giving a damn about the quality of the movie. Trust me, everything suggests that 2015 will be a huge year in the box office.

    • sue s says:

      Thank you Spirit! I totally agree with you. All of the theaters play the same movies – only the so-called blockbusters when there are so many other good movies available. Now that you need to look up movies on the internet (instead of the newspapers where you could compare all of the theaters in the area) there is very little choice for the moviegoer. BTW: does anyone know of a website that shows all theaters in an area and not just the 3-4 major ones?

    • John says:

      This weekend’s releases may not show it but I think this summer’s movies have been better then last year from a quality point of view. X Men, How to Train your Dragon 2, Edge of Tomorrow and very likley Apes were better then any of last summer’s batches. Its just a shame that Transfomers is making the most money

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