BOX OFFICE WINNER: With a better-than-expected opening of $54.8 million, terrific reviews from critics nationwide and very good word-of-mouth, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” is by far, the weekend’s big winner.
BOX OFFICE LOSER: After a season of successful R-rated comedies, “The Change-Up” becomes the first of the season’s comedies to tank at the box office proving that concept and not stars are king in Hollywood. Better luck next year Ryan Reynolds.
BOX OFFICE ANALYSIS:
Audiences went bananas for Apes this weekend as “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” comfortably topped the box office with $54.8 million. Though the debut was far lower than the $68.5 million taken in by Tim Burton’s putrid “Planet of the Apes” remake in 2001, something tells me this one will end up grossing more than Burton’s film when people realize how good this film actually is. Opening on more than 5,400 screens nationwide, director Rupert Wyatt’s science fiction reboot of the “Planet of the Apes” franchise (which began back in 1968 with the Charlton Heston-led “Planet of the Apes”) started its weekend domination with a very strong $19.7 million on Friday and dropped by a measly 300,000 on Saturday for a $19.4 million cum (indicated word-of-mouth is very good). With a terrific marketing campaign that has positioned the film as a smart-science fiction drama than an action film, fantastic reviews from critics (most of whom praise actor Andy Serkis and the visual effects), and an amazing “A-” average grade from Cinemascore, look for “Apes” to ride the momentum it will undoubtedly receive from strong word-of-mouth over the rest of the month.
After almost stealing the top spot from “Cowboys & Aliens” last weekend, “The Smurfs” dropped by 42% and down a spot for a $20.7 million weekend haul. The annoying blue buggers have now taken in $76 million so far and are bound to make it past the $100 million mark in two weeks or so.
The same can’t be said for Universal’s pricey “Cowboys & Aliens” (My Review) which collapsed by a miserable 56% this weekend for a $15.7 million total. With $67.3 million in the tank, weak word-of-mouth and bad reviews, this pony is most likely to end its run with a final haul in the $90 million range. Considering that it cost the studio north of $160 million to produce, I’m going to chalk this one up as one of the summer’s biggest misfires. Looks like all the profits the studio raked in from “Bridesmaids” (My Review) is going to end up being forked out to cover the costs of this one.
“The Change-Up,” another Universal Pictures release, added to the bad news for the studio as it opened poorly in fourth place with a pitiful $13.5 million. The opening was by far, the worst of any R-rated movie this summer and was yet another flop on the resume of actor Ryan Reynolds, who along with box office flop “Green Lantern,” (My Review) has had the worst summer of his career. Reviews for the body-switching comedy were mostly negative so don’t expect this one to have great legs like “Crazy, Stupid, Love” (which slipped by a sensational 36%).
America’s favorite flag-waving superhero “Captain America” (My Review) wrapped up the top five with a decent $13 million haul. With $143.2 million in the bank, the star spangled man is trailing fellow Marvel superhero “Thor” (My Review) by $2 million after 17 days and may have a shot at topping the hammer-wielding Nordic God if August’s underwhelming lineup lives up to its billing.
In the bottom half of the top 10, “Crazy, Stupid, Love” (My Review) built upon its strong reviews and very good word-of-mouth by dropping a slim 37% to take its total up to $42 million. “Horrible Bosses” (My Review) inched past the $100 million and became the 18th film of the year to do so. Finally, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” (My Review) is now only $1.2 million away from overtaking “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” (My Review) as the year’s top grossing picture. Cancel that, by the time you read this, the final adventure of the boy who lived will have already overtaken the giant fighting robots.
NEXT WEEK: Death will conquer the charts for the fifth time as “Final Destination 5” should easily top the box office. Expect $25 million worth of awesome kills. Also opening is “30 Minutes Or Less,” the final R-rated comedy of the summer which should pick up a weekend gross somewhere between $17 and $19 million while family drama “The Help” will attempt to become the next “The Blind Side” with its combination of Southern charm, strong performances and good reviews ($15 million).
Here’s the full box office top ten for the weekend (total domestic gross in parentheses):
- RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES – $54.8 Million
- THE SMURFS – $20.7 Million ($75.9 Million)
- COWBOYS & ALIENS – $15.7 Million ($67.3 Million) (My Review)
- THE CHANGE-UP – $13.5 Million
- CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER – $13 Million ($143.2 Million) (My Review)
- HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 2 – $12.4 Million ($343 Million) (My Review)
- CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE – $12 Million ($42.1 Million) (My Review)
- FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS – $4.6 Million ($48.5 Million) (My Review)
- HORRIBLE BOSSES – $4.5 Million ($105.1 Million) (My Review)
- TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON – $3 Million ($344.2 Million) (My Review)