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July 18, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Box-office pundits are predicting a tight, three-way race for No. 1 this weekend. They’re saying that 20th Century Fox’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and two new films, Universal’s The Purge: Anarchy, and Sony’s Sex Tape, will each earn around $25-30 million. A third new film, Disney’s animated Planes: Fire & Rescue, is expected to take off with around $20 million. Last weekend, Apes debuted with nearly $73 million to the surprise of most analysts. If it drops less than 60 percent in its second weekend, it would again surprise them. However, they still give the movie a slight edge over the newcomers to emerge as the leader for a second consecutive week. The Purge: Anarchy will likely scare up enough business to challenge Apes closely, however. The original Purge opened with $34 million a year ago, but ticket sales plummeted 75 percent in its second week, suggesting terrible word-of-mouth. That terrible word-of-mouth could haunt the sequel, analysts indicate, although word from critics is not bad. The romcom, which stars Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel — they also appeared together in Bad Teacher — is apparently heavier on the rom than on the com, much to the annoyance of critics. But it reportedly appeals to both men and women, something that could counter those critical cavils.