It has not been a strong summer at the box office. Though the box-office was up compared to last year heading into the summer (thanks in part to Captain America and The LEGO Movie), it quickly frittered away its lead. There have been a few hits this summer (Maleficent, 22 Jump Street) but the huge blockbusters haven’t been performing as hugely as they’re supposed to, and there have been a lot of films expected to be hits that have flailed. Tammy, for instance. And this weekend’s Sex Tape, which opened with $15 million, behind the soft openings of Planes: Fire & Rescue ($18 million) and The Purge: Anarchy ($28 million). Thankfully, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is doing its part this summer, falling only 50 percent to hold the lead this weekend with another $36 million. (It’s at #138 million after 10 days, and $240 million worldwide).
How bad has this summer been? I looked at the overall weekend grosses over the last five years for the summer (May through July), and TWO of the worst weekends during that period came in 2014. In fact, the 4th of July weekend this year was the worst since 2009, when Wild Wild West bombed at the box office.
Here are the worst five weekends at the box office since 2009.
5. June 10-12, 2011 ($137 million)
Opener Super 8 ($35 million) led a weak weekend of holdovers (X-Men: First Class and Hangover 2. The other weekend’s new entry, Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer, finished 7th with $6 million.
4. May 9-11, 2014 ($136 million)
Neighbors actually had a very solid opening weekend ($49 million), but nothing else could get going. Amazing Spider-Man 2 fell 61 percent in its second weekend, and the other two openers, Mom’s Night Out and Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return were DOA. In fact, Captain America ($6 million) was number five, and it opened six weeks before.
3. July 4-6, 2014 ($132 million)
Tammy ($21 million), Deliver Us from Evil ($9 million), and Earth to Echo ($8.3 million) all opened behind Transformers: Age of Extinction ($37 million) in its disappointing second weekend, making this easily the worst 4th of July at the box office in at least five years.
2. June 15-17, 2012 ($130 million)
Openers Rock of Ages ($14,437,269) and That’s My Boy ($13,453,714) finished third and fourth, behind holdovers Madagascar 3 and Prometheus
1. June 4-6th, 2010 ($128 million)
There were four new releases that weekend (Get Him to the Greek, $17 million; Killers, $15 million; Marmaduke, $11.5 million), and Splice, $7.3 million, and none of them could overtake Shrek Forever After in its third week ($25 million).