War for the Planet of the Apes

Weekend Box Office: War Party

Much to my surprise, the apes squashed a spider this weekend. That’s right, more moviegoers opted to see the continuing prequelization of humanity’s fall to intelligent primates than Marvel Studios’ latest box office and critical smash.

As this summer gradually nears to a close, the weekends are becoming congested. With next weekend bringing three new wide releases, including Christopher Nolan’s latest, any movie will have a hard time holding over.

In 2011, ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ relaunched the damn dirty ape franchise and beat expectations with a solid $54.8 million debut. In 2014, the follow-up ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ excelled and launched to $72.6 million. Like most threequels, ‘War for the Planet of the Apes‘ took a significant dip in attendance, but it still made more than enough to land in the top spot at the box office.

Earning only 78% of the last installment’s debut, ‘War’ opened to $56.5 million domestically. The film’s international box office is also down. From 61 markets, it grossed $41 million and, unfortunately, those markets are also tracking below ‘Dawn’. Despite the #1 finish, it will be difficult for Fox to get out of the red with box office tickets alone.

Spider-Man: Homecoming‘ opened strong last week, but fell a superhero’s 61%, giving up the top spot in the process. The re-reboot’s $45.2 million sophomore week resulted in a #2 finish. However, that’s not to say that ‘Homecoming’ isn’t still a wild success. Its ten-day total climbed to $208.2 million. Foreign markets are eating it up too. With $261.1 million overseas, Spidey is up to $469.3 million worldwide. I’ve been pretty disappointed in the last several MCU entries, but I’m glad to see this one perform so well.

Week #3 fared better than the second for Universal’s ‘Despicable Me 3‘. Dropping 44% in attendance, it collected $18.9 million and finished in third place. After 17 days, 2013’s ‘Despicable Me 2’ had $276 million in the bank, but part 3 is far from being that successful. To date, it has only made $187.9 million. That’s more than $88 million less than the predecessor. Still, if ‘Minions’ taught us anything, it’s that overseas audiences love this franchise. ‘Despicable Me 3′ has grossed $431.4 million internationally, giving this $80 million kids’ movie a whopping $619.3 million worldwide draw.

Just as it did last week, ‘Baby Driver‘ kept control of the car. Falling a light 33% in attendance, the movie finished in fourth place with another $8.7 million, which drove its domestic total up to $73.1 million. Edgar Wright’s $34 million crowd-pleaser has also made $23.1 million overseas, boosting its worldwide draw to $96.2 million. By the end of the week, it will be Wright’s first film to cross the $100 million line.

Rounding out the Top 5 was ‘The Big Sick‘, which expanded nationwide. As we’ve seen many other acclaimed festival films do over the last few years, it had three exceptionally high weeks in limited release, only to expand wide and fizzle out. (See the box office results for Danny Boyle’s ‘Steve Jobs’.) Although it cracked into the Top 5 with $7.6 million, ‘The Big Sick’ had a weak per-screen average of $2,926. To date, the dramedy has pulled $16 million.

Broad Green’s PG-13 horror flick ‘Wish Upon‘ performed similarly. From 2,250 screens, it made $5.5 million ($2,483 per screen) and finished in at #7. With a production budget of just $12 million, this isn’t a terrible blow. While it’s not likely to make its money back in theaters, home video and streaming sales should help Broad Green turn a dollar.

At the specialty box office, Sundance acquisition ‘Lady Macbeth‘ had a decent five-screen debut. The black comedy period piece earned $68,813, for a $13,763 per-screen average.

Top 10:

1. ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ (Fox) – $56,500,000

2. ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ (Sony) – $45,200,000

3. ‘Despicable Me 3’ (Universal) – $18,947,840

4. ‘Baby Driver’ (Sony) – $8,750,000

5. ‘The Big Sick’ (Lionsgate) – $7,600,000

6. ‘Wonder Woman’ (Warner Bros.) – $6,885,000

7. ‘Wish Upon’ (Broad Green) – $5,586,748

8. ‘Cars 3’ (Buena Vista) – $3,167,000

9. ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’ (Paramount) – $2,780,000

10. ‘The House’ (Warner Bros.) – $1,795,000

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