Grim futures were all the rage this weekend at the multiplex. But given their choice of dystopias, moviegoers gravitated to the one they knew and heard cool things about. Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes topped the box office for a second weekend in a row, its war-ravaged simian kingdom apparently holding greater mass appeal than an alternate America with annual sanctioned bloodshed, an Earth populated entirely by sentient automobiles and aircrafts, and a world in which Jason Segel can’t comprehend basic technology. Falling only 50 percent from opening weekend—a comparatively small drop-off compared to the summer’s other big blockbusters, which hemorrhaged viewers week-to-week—Dawn converted its positive buzz into another $36 million in ticket sales. No need to stop this Planet Of The Apes; America wants to stay on.
Falling short of this sequel to a reboot were a sequel to a surprise hit that no one actually liked and a sequel to a spinoff that no one actually liked. The Purge: Anarchy took $28.4 million in second place, proving that horror fans have deep wallets and short memories—or maybe they’ve heard this second installment is a vast improvement on the first, mostly because it makes the no-brainer move of putting its characters out in the street during the Purge. Nose-diving into third was Planes: Fire & Rescue, whose $18 million intake suggests that there are limits to how much junk parents will endure for the sake of a little peace and quiet—even in a summer almost devoid of animated offerings. The maligned Pixar offshoot did better, anyway, than Sex Tape, an poorly reviewed comedy that made only $15 million despite—or maybe because of—the fact that it revolves around Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz getting it on for three hours.
Further down the charts, well beneath a different sequel about talking cars, was Boyhood, which expanded to 33 screens and added $1.1 million to its haul—an impressive achievement for a three-hour, largely plotless family drama. Richard Linklater’s grand experiment bested all of the new art-house fare, including Zach Braff’s Wish I Was Here, a kind of spiritual sequel to his Garden State. The movie opened as softly as a Bon Iver ballad, pulling in $495,000 on 68 screens. Apparently, a future in which Zach Braff is a thriving indie auteur is just a little too bleak for America, which prefers ape overlords to more feature-length Shins videos.
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.