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Box Office: ‘Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes’ Grosses $73M Weekend
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes debuted with a terrific $73 million. That includes $4.1m in Thursday previews and a $27.7m opening Friday. The 20th Century Fox (a division of 21st Century Fox , Inc.) sequel, which cost $170m to produce, opened well above the $54.8m debut weekend scored by Rise of the Planet of the Apes in August 2011. While some of the bump can be attributed to the sequel going 3D (Rise was straight 2D), this is still a case of a sequel breaking out. Rise of the Planet of the Apes had a strong 2.8x weekend multiplier, while the sequel had a surprisingly robust 2.63x, including a drop of just 5% on Saturday. Heck, if you knock off the Thursday previews, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes made more on Saturday (about $26m) than it did during normal Friday business hours ($23.6m). This is why weekend multipliers matter.
Image credit: FOX
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which features Andy Serkis and Gary Oldman in a saga taking place ten years after humanity has been mostly wiped out, jumped 33% from the opening weekend of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which would put it above Iron Man 2 (25%) and Thor: The Dark World (32%). The 2D-to-3D explains some of the bounce (Iron Man 3 jumped 35% from the opening weekend of Iron Man 2), but thus far this is somewhat capitalizing on the positive buzz and slow-build success of Rise of the Planet of the Apes three years ago. That film earned $176m domestic and $481m worldwide, the second-biggest August release ever. Barring a complete collapse (unlikely with the strong weekend multiplier and relatively light July slate), Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which played 36% 3D and 8% PLF, should cross $200m domestic.
It opened with $31.1 million in 26 markets overseas this weekend for a $104m worldwide debut. Overseas is an open question, but Fox’s unmatched overseas muscle means that I cannot imagine the film not crossing $500m worldwide. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (and The Help) basically closed out the summer 2011 box office season, resulting in a strong 3.25 weekend-to-final multiplier. A similar run, however unlikely, would give the sequel $240 million domestic. It will have to face an uncommonly strong August this time around (Guardians of the Galaxy, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Sin City 2, Expendables 3). Nonetheless, the comparatively leggy opening weekend, strong reviews, and strong buzz points to a healthy theatrical run.
The Apes franchise has always been a popular one, be it the original five-film series starting in 1968 to Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes remake back in 2001. Yes, said Mark Wahlberg adventure (which basically invented the reboot) was pretty bad, but it scored the second-biggest opening weekend of all-time back then with $69m (it would be about $106m today with 3D and inflation). The series has always been a useful vessel for political/social commentary (this one offers a potent and timely lesson in the seductive power of firearms), even if said topicality is now status quo for most big-scale blockbusters. The film played 47% Caucasian, 23% African-American, 16% Hispanic, and 14% Asian. It played 58% male and 45% over-25 years old. The franchise remains a popular way for audiences to spend two hours thinking about how horrible humanity is.
In limited release news, Richard Linklater’s Boyhood debuted on five screens this weekend. The obscenely well-reviewed “shot over twelve years chronicling a single child growing up” drama earned $358,000 over the weekend, for a robust $71,000 per-screen average. The IFC film will allegedly expand next weekend. The good news is that the film had the second-best limited debut of the year, behind The Grand Budapest Hotel. The “bad” news is that this debut tells you little about how the film will play over the course of its run. It’s a 2.45 hour narrative experiment with no major box office draws. It could top out at $6m or it could catch on by selling to the kinds of families it (relatively speaking) represents. Either way, the fact that it got made (especially considering how it was made) is the only victory that matters here.
The rest is holdover news. Tammy earned another $12.9 million as the Melissa McCarthy comedy dropped just 40% from last weekend. The $20m New Line/Warner Bros. (a division of Time Warner, Inc.) comedy, written off as a flop, has now earned $57.354m domestically. If it can survive Sex Tape next weekend, it has a real shot at $80m-$85m. Paramount’s Transformers: Age of Extinction earned $16.5m (-55%) over its third weekend, bringing its cume to $209m. The Mark Wahlberg film is sinking fast and should end its domestic run with $240m, about on par with Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Like that (horrible horrible) fourth sequel, the film’s domestic franchise fatigue (the other Transformers films earned $319m, $408m, and $352m respectively) is being compensated for overseas, as the Michael Bay sequel has earned $752m worldwide and still has a shot at that magic $1 billion mark.
DreamWorks Animation’s How To Train Your Dragon 2 earned another $5.87 million on its fifth weekend (-37%), bringing what is still the summer’s best “big” movie up to $152m. It’s finally showing something resembling legs just before Walt Disney’s Planes: Fire and Rescue comes to extinguish it next weekend. On the plus side, it has earned $350m worldwide as of today. Sony’s 22 Jump Street earned $6.7m on its fifth weekend for a new $171.9m domestic cume, just passing the $169m gross of Bridesmaids. It probably won’t cross $200m domestic, but it will triple its $57m opening weekend and is already one of the biggest R-rated comedies ever. It has also earned $250m worldwide.
Relativity’s Earth To Echo earned $5.5m on its second weekend (-36%). The kid-centric sci-fi adventure has now earned $24.59m domestic. Jersey Boys has now topped $41m, making it the second-biggest grossing film (behind the $90m Mystic River) that Clint Eastwood has directed without starring in. Deliver Us From Evil earned $4.7m (-50%), which isn’t a bad drop for a horror title. The supernatural police procedural brought its domestic cume to $25m, with its utter devastation coming next weekend at the hands of The Purge: Anarchy.
Of note, Dinesh D’souza’s America dropped just 11% in its second weekend, bringing in $2.4m and bringing its cume to $8.267m. It’s not going to challenge Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 ($119m), but getting over/under D’souza’s 2016: Obama’s America ($33m) isn’t out of the question. Walt Disney’s Maleficent earned around $4m (-34%) on weekend six. The Angelina Jolie fantasy has a new domestic cume of $221m. At this rate, it will catch up to X-Men: Days of Future Past ($229m) domestically. With $668m worldwide and going strong, it may-well end up one of the summer’s top global grossers (possibly passing the $733m-and-counting cume for X-Men: Days of Future Past) and one of the most cost-to-gross profitable films of the would-be tent poles (it has earned 3.71x its $180m budget).
The Mark Ruffalo/Keira Knightley musical romance Begin Again expanded to 932 theaters this weekend and earned $2.9m over the frame, with a new domestic cume of $5.2m. Think Like A Man Too earned $2.5m (-49%) over the weekend for a new domestic cume of $61.9m for the $24m comedy sequel. Tom Cruise’s Edge of Tomorrow earned another $1.865m, bringing its domestic cume to $94.5m. It has earned $256m overseas for a $350m worldwide cume. Universal’s Neighbors has crossed $251m worldwide on an $18m budget. Oh, and The Fault in Our Stars has earned $119m domestic and $117m overseas for a $237m cume on a $12m budget.
That’s it for this weekend. It’s another busy frame next weekend as Walt Disney’s Planes: Fire and Rescue (seeing it tonight, review tomorrow or Tuesday) squares off against Universal’s The Purge: Anarchy (review Thursday) and Sony’s Cameron Diaz/Jason Segal farce Sex Tape.
Top-Ten list courtesy of Rentrak.
Box Office News courtesy of Forbes