July 6 (Bloomberg) -- “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” Paramount Pictures’ summer blockbuster, dominated domestic theaters for a second week, outselling three new films opening in wide release over the U.S. Independence Day weekend.
“Age of Extinction,” projected to be the top grossing picture in U.S. and Canadian theaters this summer, collected $36.4 million from July 4 to today, box-office tracker Rentrak Corp. said in a statement. “Tammy,” a comedy starring Melissa McCarthy, placed second, with $21.2 million for Warner Bros. Sony Corp.’s “Deliver Us From Evil” produced $9.5 million to place third, while “Earth to Echo,” from Relativity Media LLC, took in $8.3 million for sixth place.
“Transformers: Age of Extinction” is providing a boost to Viacom Inc.’s film division, which ranked last among the six major studios in domestic sales, at $422.1 million as of June 29, and has the fewest releases so far this year, according to researcher Box Office Mojo. The first film in a new trilogy, the picture has been a bigger hit in China than the U.S., a rare feat for Hollywood, generating $134.5 million in its first five days, compared with a domestic tally of $121 million.
This weekend, “Transformers: Age of Extinction” opened in large international markets in Europe and South America, in a strategy designed to minimize competition for audiences with soccer’s World Cup tournament.
“Age of Extinction” may garner total domestic sales of $265 million and $1 billion globally, BoxOffice.com estimates. It’s one of Paramount’s most important pictures of the year, alongside “Hercules,” scheduled to open later this month, and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” set to open in August.
“Age of Extinction” collected $100 million in its domestic debut last weekend, overtaking the $95 million April opening of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” from Walt Disney Co., to set the high mark for 2014.
This weekend, “Transformers” was estimated to produce $38.5 million in U.S. cinemas, according to BoxOffice.com.
The film, which stars Mark Wahlberg for the first time in the series, picks up the story of battling robots that convert into cars and trucks. It features Chinese actors as Paramount seeks to increase the international appeal of the series.
In domestic cinemas, Hollywood’s summer lineup has so far failed to match 2013’s, with sales down 16 percent from May 2 to July 2 compared with a year earlier, according to Rentrak.
“It wasn’t the kind of slate to inspire a record-breaking box office,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak. “A silver lining is that we don’t have any big flops this summer.”
“Tammy,” an R-rated comedy from Time Warner Inc.’s film division, was projected to collect $22.5 million over the three days of the Fourth of July holiday weekend. It’s garnered $32.9 million in the five days since its release on July 2, according to Rentrak.
McCarthy, star of the 2013 comedy “Identity Thief,” plays Tammy, who returns home after being fired from a fast-food restaurant to find her husband having an affair with the neighbor. She takes flight and embarks on a road trip with her alcoholic and diabetic grandmother, played by Susan Sarandon.
The film failed to enchant critics, drawing only a 28 percent positive rating on Rottentomatoes.com, a review aggregator.