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Weekend Box Office Report: ‘Apes’ Squashes a ‘Spider’

War-for-the-Planet-of-the-Apes-poster

Who would you rather fight, a million spider-sized ape or one ape-sized spider? It’s a question that’s been haunting my mind since, oh, about an hour ago when I started to look up the box office numbers for this past weekend. And while I might not be any closer to solving my riddle, I can at least say this: when it comes to week-old spiders versus brand new primates, the primates are destined to win. Here’s the box office numbers as of Sunday afternoon:

Film Weekend Per Screen
1 War for the Planet of the Apes $56,500,000 $14,048 $56,500,000
2 Spider-Man: Homecoming $45,200,000 (-61%) $10,396 $208,270,314
3 Despicable Me 3 $18,947,840 (-43%) $4,560 $187,989,990
4 Baby Driver $8,750,000 (-32%) $2,875 $73,151,857
5 The Big Sick $7,600,000 (+112%) $2,926 $16,036,824
6 Wonder Woman $6,885,000 (-29%) $2,509 $380,686,078
7 Wish Upon $5,586,748 $2,483 $5,586,748
8 Cars 3 $3,167,000 (-41%) $1,546 $140,031,500
9 Transformers: The Last Knight $2,780,000 (-56%) $1,197 $124,888,619
10 The House $1,795,000 (-62%) $1,099 $23,129,558

Let’s start with the new releases. In first place this week is War for the Planet of the Apes, Matt Reeves‘ conclusion of his much-beloved Planet of the Apes trilogy. The film’s $56.5 million dollar opening is a little disappointing for two reasons: one, according to Variety, the film was tracking in the $60 – $65 million range only a few days ago, and two, that number is a fair shake lower than the $72.6 million opening of Reeves’ previous Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. That being said, this movie did cost about $20 million less to make than its predecessor and the reviews are still glowing, so the success of War at the box office is pretty much a foregone conclusion at this point. You’d always like to see the best summer movies over-perform at the box office, but if War lands in the $175 – $200 million range established by its predecessors and performs well overseas, it’ll be a solid win for everyone involved.

The only other notable new release this weekend is Wish Upon, which opened in seventh place with $5.5 million. It’s easy to chuckle at ridiculous horror films that hang around the bottom of the Top 10, but consider this: Wish Upon only cost $12 million to make and has already earned back half its budget in one weekend. Compare that to a movie like A Cure for Wellness – a movie I enjoyed quite a bit, mind you – which grossed only $4.3 million in its opening weekend against a $40 million budget. Mediocre horror films like Wish Upon are the reason we’re subjected to so many headache-inducing “Is Horror Good Now?” thinkpieces, but I can’t fault studios for cranking them out like they do. They’re just good business.

That’s it for the new releases, so let’s quickly run through our repeat offenders. In second place this week with $45.2 million is Spider-Man: Homecoming, representing a somewhat surprising tumble forom its opening weekend. That 61% drop is The Amazing Spider-Man 2 territory, not what we’ve come to expect from entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Of course, Spider-Man: Homecoming has already eclipsed the entire box office gross of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and is up to $470 million worldwide, so it’s not like we’re in panic mode here. In third place with $18 million is Despicable Me 3, the latest entry in Universal’s Minion-verse cash cow. With $187 million domestic and $431 million internationally, Despicable Me 3 has now cracked $619 million at the box office, a ridiculous amount of money for a franchise that has now grossed $3.2 billion – that’s billion with a ‘b’ – worldwide. Sure, maybe this one is lagging behind the others a little, but it’d have to fall off considerably more for Universal to stop making them.

Fourth place belongs to Edgar Wright‘s Baby Driver, which pulled in another $8.7 million and how now pushed up over $73 million at the domestic box office. With $96 million worldwide, Baby Driver is poised to break the $100 million mark in the next few days, meaning that Wright can now officially be referred to as a blockbuster filmmaker (if you so choose). In fifth place with $7.6 million – and still expanding into new theaters – is The Big Sick, which has now grossed $16 million in its theatrical run. Now that The Big Sick has topped out on its theatrical release, it’ll be interesting to see how the world of mouth allows the film to perform; a few weeks with below-average declines could make this movie a more surprising performer than it already is.

Wonder Woman is finally starting to lose a little bit of steam, dropping all the way down to sixth place with $6.8 million. There was no way that Wonder Woman could stay on the Top 10 for the rest of the year, but be honest: you were starting to wonder a little bit, right? For now, Wonder Woman holds the title of the highest-grossing domestic DCEU movie. We’ll see if that holds through this fall’s Justice League. In eighth place is Cars 3 with $3.1 million, bringing Pixar‘s latest Cars movie up to $222 million against a $175 million budget. I have highlighted that as disappointing in the past, but just this weekend, Pixar announced at D23 that they would be making another film in the Cars extended universe, so what do I know? In ninth place is Transformers: The Last Knight, which is up over $512 million worldwide, probably enough to ensure that this Transformers spinoff universe actually happens. And finally, rounding out the Top 10 is The House, which limps off the charts having only made $23 million ($28 million worldwide) against a $40 million budget. This has future VOD title written all over it.

‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ Review: Apes. Finale. Strong.

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