‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ had a short reign at the top of the charts. This week, ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ took the #1 spot with $56.5 million. That’s just shy of predictions and 21% lower than the $72.6M debut of the previous installment ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’.
It looks like the latest instance of the dreaded F-bomb. No, not that one! The dreaded double-F-bomb: Franchise Fatigue. In most estimations, the trailers for this film looked too much like the previous films– dark, moody, violent and packed with scary apes. There wasn’t enough newness to distinguish it and fans are getting tired of HAVING to see three or four movies in order to get one story. In the case of superhero movies and the ‘Fast & Furious’ series, while they are interconnected, for the most part, they all stand on their own as entertaining solo films.
On the bright side, it got a stellar 94% Rotten Tomatoes score and a very good A- CinemaScore from viewers and those viewers are spreading the positive praise online. Which is good, because besides Andy Serkis, the rest of the cast– Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, etc.– are not active on social media. ‘Kong: Skull Island’ also got off to a fairly lukewarm start, but thanks to strong social media buzz (and, uh, I guess good old fashioned talking) it performed well in the long run.
(Plus this is all domestic. Once foreign box office is tallied in, it should do extremely well.)
On the other hand, despite overall great reception and buzz, ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ took a bigger than expected 60% drop in its second weekend, down to #2 with $45.2M.
Keep in mind, this is strictly the weekend take, but it’s summer and thanks to weekday business, the film has grossed more than $210M.
There’s not much else to report about the Top Five. ‘Despicable Me 3’and ‘Baby Driver’ are still in the mix. The critically acclaimed ‘The Big Sick’ had a massive per screen opening in limited run… and by limited run, I mean two theaters. It opened wide and thanks to strong audience and critical reaction, it was expected to open a bit better than $7.6M, but that’s where it wound up. But this film is garnering awards buzz and is appealing to older audiences, a crowd that doesn’t flock to theaters on opening weekend. Buzz may give this film legs in the long haul.
Here is the Top Five:
- War for the Planet of the Apes (20th Century Fox) – $56.5M
- Spider-Man: Homecoming (Sony/Marvel Studios) – $45.2M
- Despicable Me 3 (Universal) – $18.9M
- Baby Driver (Sony) – $8.75M
- The Big Sick (Amazon) – $7.6M
You may have noticed that after a long run, ‘Wonder Woman’ has dropped out of the Top Five. It clocked in at #6 with an additional $6.9M, bringing its total to $380.7M.
But ‘Wonder Woman’ has had stronger legs than most superhero movies– heck better than most big budget action movies in general. And at this point, ‘Wonder Woman’ actually has a chance to wind up as the biggest hit of the summer. That title currently belongs to ‘Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2’ which is still in some theaters and sits at $386.6M. That’s $5.9M more than ‘Wonder Woman’, but like I said it’s still playing and will take in a little more. But if ‘Wonder Woman’ performs roughly the same next week as it did this one, it should overtake the Marvel sequel. Maybe…
We’re past the midway point of the summer season and August tends to be a dumping ground for films that are more… questionable as to their appeal. Next week sees the release of Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dunkirk’ which has strong buzz, but is a gritty war movie which most likely won’t have across-the-board appeal and Luc Besson’s ‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’. Besson is a visionary filmmaker, but so are the likes of Zack Snyder, Guillermo del Toro and the Wachowskis… and their movies tend to be too… eccentric for the mainstream.
Following that, comes ‘The Emoji Movie’, ‘Atomic Blonde’, ‘The Dark Tower’, and ‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’. Will any of these top ‘Wonder Woman’?
Check back next week to see how things pan out!