Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age of Extinction scored the biggest opening weekend of 2014, earning a strong $100 million in America and $301.3m worldwide in its initial frame. The Paramount Pictures (a division of Viacom, Inc.) release was a bit frontloaded (2.4x) but on merely on the lower end of reasonable expectations after its whopping $41.6m opening day (also a record for the year). The Stanley Tucci/Kelsey Grammer drama bested the $95m debut of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Of note, this is the first Transformers film to open on a Friday. The other three entries all debuted on Tuesday or Wednesday, meaning that much of the “must-see” demographic was on to other things by Friday. Transformers had a sky-high 3.11 weekend multiplier ($70.5 million Fri-Sun/$22.6m Fri), Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen had a 2.9x weekend multiplier after scoring a near-record $62m Wednesday ($108.9m/$36.7m), and Transformers: Dark of the Moon had a 2.9x as well ($97.8m/$32.9m). As such, a 2.4x weekend multiplier on a straight Fri-Sun debut isn’t too bad considering the size of the numbers.
Katy Perry sure knows how to sell a record, and now the “Birthday” singer is being recognized as the top certified digital artist in history by the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Perry has become the first artist in history to surpass 70 million digital downloads of singles, and she did so quite like a “Dark Horse…” by surpassing other artists by over 20 million singles. According to a press release, 18 of Perry’s hits have contributed to over 72 million Gold & Platinum Digital Single Certifications.
Think Like A Man Too”, a sequel to the 2012 comedy based on Steve Harvey’s book “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man”, collected $30 million in ticket sales to lead the weekend box office, outdistancing last weekend’s top film, “22 Jump Street”.
In a rare summer week with no big-budget movie openings,
“22 Jump Street”, starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, took the No. 2 spot with $29 million at U.S. and Canadian theaters for the three days ending on Sunday.
The animated film “How to Train Your Dragon 2” was third with $25.3 million in its second week, according to box office tracking firm Rentrak.
Director Clint Eastwood’s “Jersey Boys,” the story of the musical group The Four Seasons, was fourth with $13.5 million, beating industry estimates of an $11 million opening.
It’s been said that there’s laughter — and then there’s Apollo laughter, a testament to the Harlem venue’s famously tough crowd. That sentiment doesn’t just apply to comedians, but to the vocalists who dare to take its stage as well; especially in its “Showtime” days, if the Apollo crowd didn’t like you, it would boo, hiss and wave you off of the stage if the Sandman didn’t get you first.
It appears Sam Smith, music’s newest It Boy who’s been described as the “male Adele,” gave the Apollo crowd all he had when he performed there the night his debut album dropped last week. By Saturday, Smith was forced to cancel a performance at London’s Capital Summertime Ball because he’d lost his voice.
Rocker Jack White claims his second No. 1 album on the Billboard 200, as “Lazaretto” bows in the top slot with 138,000 sold in the week ending June 15, according to NielsenSoundScan.
The effort follows his solo debut, “Blunderbuss,” which also opened atop the list and sold 138,000 in its first frame. (It sold a handful of copies less, actually, but when rounded to the nearest thousand, both figures become 138,000.)
“Godzilla” stomped its way to the top of the mainland China box office last week, taking in $38.2 million in its first three days of release — the second-best opening weekend for any imported film this year, behind only “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”
With its powerful start, the Warner Bros. monster movie is likely to surge past the $100-million mark on the mainland. “X-Men,” which hauled in $40.6 million on its opening weekend, has taken in nearly $113 million in the territory to date, according to figures from film industry consulting firm Artisan Gateway.
“Captain America: Winter Soldier,” which had a $37.9-million opening weekend in China, made more than $115 million on the mainland.
Here’s an interesting conundrum: This weekend we have two sequels opening wide — 22 Jump Street and How to Train Your Dragon 2. Both of the first films did well critically and at the box office, and both sequels are pretty much guaranteed a terrific debut and a healthy life thanks to the enormously positive reviews. They’re even tracking similarly, with analysts predicting openings in the $50 million to $60 million range.
But, in this box office horse race, there has to be a winner, even if in this case second place isn’t going to be bad. At all. We could be lame and call it a tie, but what would be the point of that?
Here’s how things might play out:
1. How to Train Your Dragon 2 — $55 million
After a number of box office disappointments, including Mr. Peabody & Sherman, DreamWorks Animation is bound to finally have another hit on their hands with How to Train Your Dragon 2. The first film opened to $43 million in 2010 and went on to gross $494.9 million worldwide. Twentieth Century Fox is distributing the PG-rated sequel, which analysts say could open in the $60 million range. Critics love it too. It currently has a fantastic 93 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. EW’s Joe McGovern gave it a B, writing: “While the original movie benefited from narrative simplicity and an admirable lack of villains, this one paints the screen with too many characters and frequent diversions from the main story, but nevertheless serves up a bountiful and sugary feast for the 3-D-bespectacled eyes.” The pic also opens in 20 international markets this weekend.
Just under two weeks remain until the release of Ultraviolence, the next full-length from Lana Del Rey, her followup to 2012’s divisive Born to Die. It’s out June 17 on Interscope/Polydor UK. The lead-up to the record has already included a tracklist full of amazing titles, the singles “West Coast” and “Shades of Cool”, and a tour.
Now she’s shared the studio version of the title track. Previously, “Ultraviolence” was premiered live.
Ariana Grande takes the lead of the first weekly Twitter Top Tracks chart as “Problem,” featuring Iggy Azalea, comes in as the most shared song on the social service for the week. Azalea’s own “Fancy,” featuring Charli XCX starts at No. 8.
“Problem” also surges 3-2 on Streaming Songs with the greatest gain among all titles in the week ending June 1 (up 25 percent according to Nielsen BDS) thanks to the release of the track’s official music video on Friday, May 30, just two days before the tracking week closed. Vevo on YouTube views account for 63 percent of “Problem’s” 13 million U.S. streams, which is an improvement of 64 percent from last week, when the song’s lyric video was the main driver of views on the service.
In a box-office battle that pitted young against old, female against male, modest drama against big-budget spectacle, the teenage romance “The Fault in Our Stars” easily bested the time-shifting Tom Cruise action film “Edge of Tomorrow.”
With a $48.2 million domestic debut, “The Fault in Our Stars” thumped the $29.1 million opening for “Edge of Tomorrow,” according to studio estimates Sunday. It did so with a far less seasoned star in Shailene Woodley and a $12 million budget a fraction the size of that for “Edge of Tomorrow,” made for approximately $175 million.
The results offered a stark illustration of shifting box-office trends. Whereas big-budget, male-oriented action films with stars like Cruise have long ruled the day at North American multiplexes, those movies are increasingly under siege from films ignited by passionate young female moviegoers. Read more
“The notion of what is traditional summer fare is changing,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior analyst for box-office tracker Rentrak. “Women and young girls are as vitally important to the box office in the summer as the young males, who Hollywood has courted and coveted for decades.”