Riding a huge wave of strong reviews and even stronger buzz, 'Dawn of the Planet Apes' opened big for a non-superhero, non-Transformers movie, leading a top 10 that's full of just as many hits as misses. How about we just start at the top and work our way through?

FilmWeekendPer Screen
1Dawn of the Planet of the Apes$73,000,000$18,402$73,000,000
2Transformers: Age of Extinction$16,500,000 (-55.5)$4,217$209,031,000
3Tammy$12,910,000 (-40.2)$3,726$57,354,000
422 Jump Street$6,700,000 (-32.7)$2,383$171,961,000
5How to Train Your Dragon 2$5,865,000 (-34.6)
6Earth to Echo$5,500,000 (-34.2)$1,703$24,597,000
7Deliver Us From Evil$4,700,000 (-51.7)$1,541$25,002,000
8Maleficent$4,169,000 (-32.3)$2,007$221,994,000
9Begin Again$2,935,000 (+133.6)$3,126$5,286,000
10Jersey Boys$2,510,000 (-51.3)$1,275$41,705,000


First, let's go ahead and start with 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,' which debuted with a very strong $73 million, eclipsing the $54 million that 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' opened to back in 2011. That film went on to gross $176 million at the domestic box office. Since the sequel is even better (and bigger), it has a strong chance of breaking $200 million if the winds favor it. This has been an bad summer for endurance, which seemingly surefire hits like 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' opening well and dying on the vine. Is this the film to break that trend? Maybe. Possibly. Hopefully.

Speaking of films dying on the vine, 'Transformers: Age of Extinction' plummeted another 55% this weekend, earning only $16 million for a current total of $209 million. For many movies, this would be a gross to die for, but for an entry in the 'Transformers' series, it's a bit of a disaster. Forget about $400 or even $300 million -- this one is going to struggle to reach the $250 million mark. The only reason a 'Transformers 5' is guaranteed is the international grosses, which have made it an international juggernaut.

In third place, Melissa McCarthy's 'Tammy' slipped, grossing $12 million for a $57 million total. This was a cheap film and the numbers will ultimately be okay, but it's a fairly week showing for McCarthy considering the enormous success of 'Bridesmaids,' 'The Heat' and 'Identity Thief.' The lesson here is that 'Tammy' should have been saved for August or September. Releasing it in July offered it a quick death.

But how about some good news? In fourth place, '22 Jump Street' continued to make countless other 2014 releases look bad, taking in a respectable $6 million for a $171 million total. $200 million may be practically out of the question by this point, but no one really cares -- this thing is a huge hit, effortlessly surpassing the first film and doing so on the back of great reviews and audience enthusiasm. Sadly, all of this cannot be said for 'How to Train Your Dragon 2,' which lingered in fifth place with a $5 million weekend and a $152 million total. Many people (including this column) thought this one would grow legs and ultimately match the gross of the first film. We were wrong.

The bottom half of the top 10 is filled with mixed successes and minor failures. With a current gross of $24 million, 'Earth to Echo' should be in the black soon, but it's certainly not the big hit it needed to be. Still, it's doing better than 'Deliver Us From Evil,' which shrugged its way past $25 million (another movie that would have benefitted from a late summer or fall release). Below them, 'Maleficent' continued to quietly impress, creeping past $220 million. $250 million probably won't happen, but this film has surprised us before. Finally, 'Begin Again' impressed in limited release (let's see how it holds up next week) and 'Jersey Boys' released its final dying gasp before vanishing forever.

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