“Transformers: Fourth Time’s No Charm,” didn’t quite make it to $100 million on its opening weekend, earlier projections and Paramount announcements notwithstanding. And its second weekend took a steep dive. But $37 million this holiday — $55 since July 4 “weekend” started Wednesday, is nothing to sneeze at. “Tammy” led the new releases with a low-end-of-expectations $22 million for the weekend, $34 since Wed. “Earth to Echo” and “Deliver us from Evil” failed to set anything on fire, doing about $9 million (“Echo”) and $10 million (“Evil”) over the weekend, $14-15 since Wed. “Chef” fell out of the top ten. The aged angry white folks who patronize conservative documentaries didn’t turn Dinesh D’Souza’s martyrdom movie, “America: It Let Me Come to School Here, Allowed me to Immigrate, Now it’s throwing me intp 0ail for trying to buy an Election,” into a top ten hit (low per-screen averages hamstrung this 1100 screen release). $4 million since Wed.
A weak holiday weekend, by recent standards, which is why box office watchers see no chance for July’s movies to lift the summer out of the doldrums that June created. Too many sequels that have too little staying power. On a more positive note, I dropped in on “Belle” on Friday night, two months into its run, and it is still reaching its audience. “Belle” and “Chef” have been the two lingering low-cost hits which have shown staying power over the entire summer. “Chef” just cleared $20, “Belle” just this weekend cleared $10.