“War for the Planet of the Apes” Conquers the Box Office, but Numbers Are Down Overall

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Box Office 7.17

Film  Weekend Opening Weekend Current Gross
War for the Planet of the Apes $56.5m $56.5m $56.5m
Spider-Man: Homecoming $45.2m $117m $208.2m
Despicable Me 3 $18.9m $72.4m $187.9m
Baby Driver $8.7m $20.5m $73.1m
The Big Sick $7.6m $421,577 $16m

War for the Planet of the Apes conquered the box office, well above Spider-Man: Homecoming, which was the big question of the weekend, but both films still made around $10 million less each than expected and that is the big news. The weekend is tens of millions down from the weekend before, which is on par with the same weekends last year. Still, it’s disheartening that both War and Spider-Man struggled so much.

Looking more like Rise of the Planet of the Apes than Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, War made $56.5 million, a couple million higher than Rise‘s $54.8 million opening but almost twenty million less than Dawn‘s $72.6 million opening. It’s also a lower opening than 2001’s stand-alone Planet of the Apes reboot, which opened to $68.5 million. Although War is the best-reviewed of the new trilogy, with a certified 95 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and several people, critics and fans alike, already raving about the film, it wasn’t enough to draw in the average theater-goer over the course of the weekend. Luckily, War‘s budget is $20 million less than Dawn but at $150 million, it’s still a big price tag and means War has an uphill climb ahead of itself. As with anything, the foreign box office definitely counts for something and combined with its domestic grosses so far, the film is a little over $100 million, meaning there’s a good chance the film will wind up in the black, even if it’s the final of the new Apes films. Unfortunately, despite everything on paper looking good for War, it will probably follow a similar course to last year’s Star Trek Beyond, which also earned rave reviews, but only made $158.8 million domestically, and fell well below its two predecessors.

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

Coming in second is Spider-Man: Homecoming, which, as suspected, couldn’t match Wonder Woman‘s feat of having the best holds from week-to-week. Instead, it fell over 60 percent. Still, with the film’s stellar opening last weekend, that’s not too damaging for the film. It’s now over $200 million domestically and about $470 million worldwide, pushing it higher and higher within the Marvel Cinematic Universe ranks. It’s now the eleventh-highest film in the franchise domestically, rising above Thor: The Dark World and slightly below Doctor Strange, and the thirteenth-highest film globally, now above Thor but still well below Ant-Man. Yet as with all blockbusters, it will keep ascending. After all, this is only its second week.

The next three films landed only a couple million away from their intended marks, and Despicable Me 3 was the only film to outperform expectations, if only slightly. It earned about $19 million in its third week, bringing its domestic total to just shy of $190 million as it eyes that $200 million mark. Globally, it’s around $620 million, which is better than expected and now above the first Despicable Me film in worldwide rankings. Within the Illumination umbrella, it’s still only the seventh-highest film (out of eight), showing how Despicable Me 3‘s only saving grace truly is its foreign box office.

Baby DriverTriStar Pictures

Next up, Baby Driver continued its successful run, dropping around just 33 percent for a third-weekend intake of $8.7 million and bring its domestical cumulative total to around $73 million. While it would be exciting for Baby Driver to be Edgar Wright’s first $100 million film, it seems unlikely for the mere fact that it’s now making less than double-digits. Still, given his most lucrative film before this, Scott Pilgrim, made only $31.5 million, Baby Driver is already a massive success. However, the film is only a few million away from $100 million worldwide, which is another triump for the British director.

Bringing up the rear is, excitingly, The Big Sick. It earned about $7.6 million in its expansion to wide release, which is a little shy of expectations, but still a decent showing for an indie romantic dramedy, especially at a time when smaller and mid-budget films are struggling under the weight of all the tentpole blockbusters. Its total is now a little over $16 million on a very small budget, and is sure to be one of the hits of the summer, both critically and financially, when context is taken in to consideration.

(Source: boxoffice.com, boxofficemojo.com. Figures represent numbers at time of writing, and may have changed.)

 | Associate Editor
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