Transformers: Age of Extinction” dominated the Thursday box office heading into a holiday weekend that is expected to have a little less pop than previous Independence Days.

The giant robots sequel snagged $9.7 million at domestic multiplexes, followed by $5.5 million for “Tammy.” “Transformers” should add another $55 million to $60 million to its bounty after the July 4th weekend.

In place of Optimus Prime and an internationally known toy brand, “Tammy” is being sold on Melissa McCarthy’s name. Thanks to her star power, the raunchy comedy is expected to nab runner-up status and should close its first five days in theaters with a $35 million haul. So far it’s grossed $11.7 million since opening on Tuesday night.

The New Line release earned a lackluster C+ CinemaScore rating and tepid reviews, but cost an economical $20 million to produce, meaning it should be well on its way to profitability after a week in theaters.

Family film “Earth to Echo” is trying to position itself as the all-ages alternative to the Decepticons and Autobots, not to mention McCarthy’s R-rated hijinks.

The story of childhood friends who encounter a lovable alien earned an estimated $2.6 million on Thursday. The Relativity Media release cost $13 million to produce and received an A- CinemaScore rating. Relativity picked up the film after Disney decided it didn’t fit with its tentpole strategy. It should gross between $16 million to $19 million for its first five days and has brought in $5.3 million so far.

Horror film “Deliver Us From Evil” grossed an estimated $2.65 million on Thursday and has now earned $5.5 million in its first two days in theaters. Produced by Screen Gems, the story of a detective investigating paranormal happenings should earn $20 million over its first five days in theaters.

Overall, the box office is looking weaker than last year’s holiday, when “Despicable Me 2” opened to $76 million and powered the weekend to $230 million in ticket sales. The releases aren’t as broadly appealing, but the East Coast is also expected to be battered by nasty weather courtesy of Hurricane Arthur and the holiday falls on a Friday, cutting into mid-week sales.