Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Apes rule, Sex Tape flops at cinema

Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz star in Sex Tape, which has proved a bit of a turn off at the box office

The R-rated Sex Tape has failed to turn on moviegoers on a weekend where Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes maintained its rule at the box office.

The 20th Century Fox science fiction sequel outmuscled a trio of new films to top the North American box office for the second-straight week with 36 million dollars (£21 million), according to studio estimates. The acclaimed sequel to 2011's reboot of the chimp franchise has now made 139 million dollars (£81.3 million) domestically in two weeks.

Its closest completion over the weekend was the home-invasion horror thriller The Purge: Anarchy, written and directed by James DeMoncaco. Universal's low-budget sequel to last year's surprise hit, The Purge, opened with 28.4 million dollars (£16.6 million), down from the 34.1 million (£19.9 million) the original scared up on opening weekend.

Nikki Rocco, head of distribution for Universal, though, noted the stronger competition this time around and the overall "depressed" business at movie theatres. Weekend revenue was down 24 per cent from the same weekend last year, continuing a cold summer for Hollywood that's more than 20 per cent off the pace of the summer of 2013.

But Anarchy, which imagines an America where all crime is legal for 12 hours every year, was made for only nine million dollars (£5.2 million), making it immediately profitable for Universal. Such success is the envy of most movies, particularly Sony's Sex Tape, a starrier, more expensive release that opened with 15 million dollars (£8.7 million).

The Jason Segel, Cameron Diaz R-rated comedy failed to turn on moviegoers or critics. Sex Tape, in which a married couple make a home video to stoke the flames of their lagging sex life, came in fourth place behind Disney's Planes: Fire And Rescue. The animated sequel to 2013's Cars offshoot, Planes, opened with 18 million dollars (£10.5 million).

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