‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ Tops ‘Spider-Man’ Box Office But Disappoints Despite Rave Reviews

IndieWire | 7/16/2017 | Staff
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“War for the Planet of the Apes” (20th Century Fox), the third entry in the third round of the science-fiction series that launched in 1968, achieved a respectable if not spectacular $56.5 million opening, notching the top slot against the second weekend of “Spider-Man: Homecoming” (Sony), which dropped an unexpectedly large 61 per cent.

Remarkable and unprecedented for summertime play, three of the top five films this weekend “Apes,” “Baby Driver” (Sony) and “The Big Sick” (Lionsgate) are critically acclaimed wide releases with Metacritic scores over 80. That range of specialized titles and awards contenders is far from typical summer fare.

Apes - Reviews - Trio - Advance - Buzz

“Apes” received the top reviews of this well-regarded trio. The advance buzz was big enough to suggest an opening over $70 million. Instead, it is the lowest — in adjusted grosses, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” did the equivalent of $61 million, 28 per cent below “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” three years ago.

The “War for the Planet of the Apes” total still comes out ahead of several disappointing summer franchise sequels. But with a $150-million production budget before marketing, the movie will need a decent hold and stronger foreign results to make its expected profit. More importantly, the result is not enough to suggest a continuation of this series at this expense. Again, the impact of so much repetition in the release schedule diminishes even the top franchise entries.

Baby - Driver

“Baby Driver”

“Baby Driver” is thriving, with a fabulous hold: only a 33 per cent drop in its third weekend. It’s at $73 million domestic, and could even stretch to reach $100 million.

Lionsgate/Amazon - Family - Dramedy - Big - Sick

The Lionsgate/Amazon family dramedy “The Big Sick” raced to $7.6 million and $16 million so far. The number is reasonable for an arthouse crossover with niche appeal (a true romance about a Muslim man whose girlfriend faces...
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