It’s Apes vs Spiders This Weekend as “War for the Planet of the Apes” Looks to Dethrone “Spider-Man: Homecoming”

the box office-2

Box Office 7.13

War for the Planet of the Apes

$65 million

Spider-Man: Homecoming

 $56.5 million

Despicable Me 3

$16 million

The Big Sick

$10 million

Baby Driver

$8.3 million

For the first time in a considerable length of time, almost every movie leading the box office is near-universally acclaimed (with the exception of Despicable Me 3) and after the triumphant opening of Spider-Man: Homecoming last weekend, it looks like the summer movie season is finally hitting its peak after a sluggish and mediocre start. While no film will hit the heights of Spider-Man this weekend, there are still plenty of success stories to be passed around, including War for the Planet of the Apes, which is looking to oust Spider-Man from its number one spot.

Numbers for War for the Planet of the Apes are a little scattered (anywhere between $55 and $70 million), leaving some reports to wonder if whether or not it actually will be able to top Spider-Man. However, there are a few factors that lead to the hunch that it will, in fact, be able to take the number one spot.  There’s the first matter of past precedent: the first film in the new Apes reboot, 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes opened to $54.8 million, and its successor, 2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes jumped to $72.6 million, so somewhere in this range seems likely for War. There’s also the little fact that with a 94 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, War is the best-reviewed of the films and its critical acclaim is sure to have at least some impact. After all, we’ve seen this year what the power of word of mouth can do for a film’s box office, and this franchise already has a dedicated set of fans.

Twentieth Century Fox's "War for the Planet of the Apes."20th Century Fox

So why isn’t War expected to top Dawn? Mostly it comes down to competition. When Dawn opened around the same time three years ago, its main competition came from Transformers: Age of Extinction, which was already in its third week (and we’ve seen how fast those films drop from week to week), and comedy films like Tammy and 22 Jump Street, which were in their second and fifth weeks, respectively. Meanwhile, War has Spider-Man to contend with, first and foremost, but also Baby Driver and Wonder Woman, which all appeal to roughly the same audience. Even though Wonder Woman likely won’t make it into the top five for the first time since its release, it’s still going to bring in audiences that will compete with War for the Planet of the Apes.

The other factor is that, even if Spider-Man: Homecoming doesn’t drop as much as most other superhero films (usually between 55 and 65 percent in their second weeks), it’s very unlikely it’ll drop as little as Wonder Woman. Therefore, we’re looking at 50 percent drop for the film, give or take, and while that isn’t so bad thanks to its stellar opening, it won’t be enough to fend of War for the Planet of the Apes and retain its number one position. Even so, the film could likely top $200 million this weekend domestically while its current global total of $293.6 million will also shoot up dramatically. That means by the end of its second weekend, Homecoming will surpass Thor to become the twelfth-highest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Amongst the various Spider-Man flicks that we’ve seen over the last fifteen years, it’s still the lowest film in that group, but will easily surpass The Amazing Spider-Man 2 either this weekend or by midweek next week. As per usual, the real thing to watch here is just how far it ends up going as the summer movie season progresses.

Opening Weekend Current Gross Facebook Likes Tweets
War for the Planet of the Apes N/A N/A N/A 68,350
Spider-Man: Homecoming $117m $154.1m N/A 761,178
Despicable Me 3 $72.4m $164.5m N/A 33,221
The Big Sick $421,577 $8m N/A 205,135
Baby Driver $20.5m $62.7m N/A 83,551

The only film without a Rotten Tomatoes score about 90 percent, Despicable Me 3 isn’t a critical contender, but it’s made $460.7 million globally so far and that’s nothing to scoff at. And yet, as has been discussed here before, it’s still not enough to even come close to the rest of the films in the Despicable Me franchise. It’s the fourth-highest film in the franchise (out of four) and while it’s finally less than $100 million away from third place domestically and globally, it’s questionable whether it will be able to achieve that or not, simply given it already seems to be running out of steam. Depending on foreign totals this weekend, it could very well pass $500 million, but that still puts it about $40 million away from third place. It’s a pretty fair bet at this point to say Despicable Me 3 isn’t doing anything groundbreaking here.

big-sick-bannerAmazon Studios, Lionsgate

But the same cannot be said for the next film, the romantic dramedy The Big Sick. Written by real-life couple Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, the film is a take on their own story, and has been winning over critics and audiences alike in its limited release (in fact, it has the highest Rotten Tomatoes score of the films discussed here, with an astonishing 97 percent). Able to make you laugh and cry and gasp all in the same scene, this film is definitely one to watch. With an $8 million domestic total, it’s already made splashes in just 300+ theaters. However, this weekend it expands to nearly 2,600 theaters and that should give it quite a hefty boost, so don’t be surprised to see the film gross double-digits over the next several days. Nanjiani, who also co-stars in the film as himself, has been talking about and promoting the film on Twitter. On Wednesday, he penned a heartfelt thread on the social media platform about promoting the film and the people he’s met through the process. It’s sure to get more people talking and into theaters.

     
Rotten Tomatoes IMDb Metacritic
Critics Users Stars  
War for the Planet of the Apes 93 N/A  8.4  81
Spider-Man: Homecoming 93 91  8.1  73
Despicable Me 3 61 63 6.4 49
The Big Sick 97  N/A  8.1 87
Baby Driver 96  90 8.3 86

Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver is set to bring up the rear with an intake of $8 million, give or take, pushing the film past $70 million domestically. This is more than double Wright’s previous domestic high, with Scott Pilgrim vs the World at $31.5 million. The film is continuing to make people talk and see it more than once.

Finally, while it may not make it into the top five, Wonder Woman continues its incredible journey by earning the best hold for a superhero film in 15 years. Looking to soon top at or pass $390 million, the film will surpass Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as the top summer earner, and make about 3.8 times its $103.2 million. For comparison’s sake, the first Guardians film boasted a 3.5 multiple while The Dark Knight had a 3.4 multiple. Wonder Woman has already become the most successful film in the DC Extended Universe domestically (as well as critically) and second-best globally.

(Sources: boxoffice.com, boxofficemojo.com, rottentomatoes.com, imdb.com, metacritic.com. Tweets and Likes represent figures for this week only. Figures represent numbers at time of writing, and may have changed. Tracking Board does not report Rotten Tomatoes user ratings for movies that have not yet seen wide release.)

 | Associate Editor
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Still quiet here.sas

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