Like many superhero movies these days, Marvel and Sony’s Spider-Man: Homecoming exceeded all projections and expectations, earning an impressive $117 million in its opening weekend, a box office debut that was higher than most projections. This weekend, the new Spider-Man movie will face two newcomers, 20th Century Fox’s War For the Planet of the Apes and Broad Green’s Wish Upon, although the Apes are the only ones expected to give Spidey a run for its money. While Homecoming will certainly have a solid second weekend, those damn dirty Apes are expected to come out on top with a projected $82.6 million.
If this third Planet of the Apes movie meets or exceeds this projection, it will become one of the few major movie trilogies to increase in both box office grosses and in critical acclaim. 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes kicked off the franchise with a $54.8 million debut en route to $176.7 million domestic and $481.1 million worldwide, from a $93 million budget. That lead to 2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which opened with $72.6 million en route to $208.5 million domestic and $710.6 million worldwide, from a $175 million budget. Both movies were critical hits, with Rise of the Planet of the Apes earning an 81% rating while Dawn of the Planet of the Apes reached 90% on RT. As of now, War for the Planet of the Apes is currently at 92%, although that number could change between now and opening day on Friday.
Most franchises start off modestly, then pay off with a huge second movie, only to slide a bit with the third movie. For example, Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy had a solid start with Batman Begins ($205 million domestic), with The Dark Knight ($534 million domestic) easily surpassing that, although The Dark Knight Returns ($448 million domestic) couldn’t quite match its predecessor. There are exceptions, of course, like the Captain America trilogy and the original Bourne trilogy, but most follow the traditional trajectory, although it seems that War for the Planet of the Apes could make this Apes franchise the exception, rather than the rule. Box Office Mojo reports that War for the Planet of the Apes will open in roughly 3,800 theaters, although no theater count was given for Wish Upon.
In War for the Planet of the Apes, the third chapter of the critically acclaimed blockbuster franchise, Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless Colonel. After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind. As the journey finally brings them face to face, Caesar and the Colonel are pitted against each other in an epic battle that will determine the fate of both their species and the future of the planet. The cast includes Woody Harrelson as the Colonel, with Steve Zahn portraying a new character entitled “Bad Ape.”
The top 5 will likely be rounded out by Spider-Man: Homecoming ($67.8 million), Despicable Me 3 ($20.1 million), Baby Driver ($9.6 million) and newcomer Wish Upon ($8.3 million), which doesn’t have enough reviews in place for a Rotten Tomatoes rating quite yet. The new thriller Wish Upon follows a young girl named Clare Shannon (Joey King). Twelve years after discovering her mother’s suicide, 17-year-old Clare is bullied in high school, embarrassed by her manic, hoarder father Jonathan (Ryan Phillippe) and ignored by her longtime crush. All that changes when her father comes home with an old music box whose inscription promises to grant its owner seven wishes. While Clare is initially skeptical of this magic box, she can’t help but be seduced by its dark powers, and is thrilled as her life radically improves with each wish. Clare finally has the life she’s always wanted and everything seems perfect, until the people closest to her begin dying in violent and elaborate ways after each wish. Clare realizes that she must get rid of the box, but finds herself unable and unwilling to part with her new-and-improved life, leading her down a dark and dangerous path.
The top 10 will be rounded out by Wonder Woman ($6.7 million), The Big Sick, which is expanding nationwide following a successful platform release ($6.1 million), Transformers: The Last Knight ($3 million), Cars 3 ($2.8 million), and The House ($2.2 million). Also opening in limited release this weekend is Argot Pictures’ documentary Almost Sunrise, Vertical Entertainment’s drama Blind, Big World Pictures’ foreign film False Confessions, Roadside Attractions’ drama Lady Macbeth, Indican’s sci-fi film Man Underground, Music Box Films’ drama The Midwife and Vertical Entertainment’s documentary The Possession of Janet Moses. Take a look at our top 10 projections for the weekend of July 14, then check back on Sunday for the top 10 estimates.
|1||War for the Planet of the Apes|
|3||Despicable Me 3|
|7||The Big Sick|
|8||Transformers: The Last Knight|