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What’s up and what’s down at the summer box office

Two months into its most lucrative season, Hollywood’s summer is down nearly 20 percent from last year at North American theaters.

WHAT’S WORKING

  • Sequels. Hollywood is often criticized for its constant recycling, but the top six movies at the summer box office are all either sequels, reboots or new twists on old properties: “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” ($227 million), “Maleficent” ($215 million), “The Amazing Spider-Man 2″ ($201 million), “Godzilla” ($198 million), “Transformers: Age of Extinction” ($180 million) and “22 Jump Street” ($161 million). The well-received “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” out this weekend, is expected to open around $100 million.
Scene from,”Transformers: Age of Extinction.” AP Photo/Paramount Pictures, ILM)
  • Anything by Phil Lord and Chris Miller. The directing pair have two of the year’s top 10 films to their name: “The Lego Movie” ($257 million) and “22 Jump Street.” Both became hits by irreverently parodying their own crassness as a toy movie and as an unnecessary sequel.

WHAT’S NOT

  • Family fare. Disney’s “Maleficent” has benefited from the relative dearth of kid-friendly options by appealing to families. But the other family films, “How to Train Your Dragon 2″ ($142 million) and “Rio 2″ ($142 million), have failed to generate the kind of summer box office usually expected of such big-budget animated releases.
  • Comedies without Seth Rogen. Rogen’s “Neighbors” ($148 million) and “22 Jump Street” (in which he makes a cameo) are the two biggest comedies of the year. But releases led by Melissa McCarthy, Adam Sandler and Seth MacFarlane have struggled to break out. Sandler’s “Blended” ($44 million), MacFarlane’s “A Million Ways to Die in the West” ($42 million) and McCarthy’s “Tammy” ($36 million) have all been dragged down by weak reviews.

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