'Planet Of The Apes' Wins Weekend Box-Office War With $56.5 Million

Aaron Brown
July 18, 2017

Apes ruled the box office this weekend, if not quite as strongly as some expected.

Woody Harrelson, in human form, joins the franchise as the villain, while Steve Zahn, as a chimp, offers comic relief. Cars 3 continued to do respectable, if not spectacular, business with $3.2 million to bring its five-week total to $140 million, which was good enough for eighth place this week. It will continue earning at the box office, but the drop in movie ticket sales from the first week to the second is higher than what Wonder Woman's was, which only dropped 43% and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which dropped 56%. War for the Planet of the Apes cost $60 million more to make, too. Monday, it will pass up the final Harry Potter film ($381-M) to become the #3 Warner's release of all time behind The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, not accounting for inflation. Apes did pretty well at the weekend box office, taking in about $57 million.

Homecoming is a hit with critics and audiences (93 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes; A CinemaScore), and dominated social media chatter for weeks leading up to its release. Internationally, Spider-Man: Homecoming earned an impressive $72.3 million from 20,800 screens in 63 markets, for an overseas total of $261.1 million and worldwide sum of $469.4 million.

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In one of the biggest box office battles of the summer, it was apes over spiders.

"What I think sets the "Planet of the Apes" - these three films - apart from other franchise films is that it's not gratuitous sequel-itis", Fox's Chris Aronson said.

Coming in at No. 2 is Spider-Man: Homecoming with $45.2 million, Despicable Me 3 at No. 3 with $18.9 million, Baby Driver at No. 4 with $8.8 million and The Big Sick at No. 5 with $7.6 million. The movie is entering the box office with a whisper, about US$5.6 million from 2,250 locations. Not so fast. Even with the million-dollar cushion from Thursday, the opening Apes film fell way behind the second film for the combined Thursday/Friday, with Dawn earning $27.6 million, and War finding only $22 million. Kumail Nanjiani and Zoe Kazan headline the acclaimed feature, which was written by Nanjiani and produced by Judd Apatow. It out-opened the original and managed to earn more both domestically ($208.5 million) and overseas ($502 million) to justify an increase in budget to $170 million - nearly twice what the original cost.

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