WFTPOTABO

War For The Planet Of The Apes Has Lackluster Debut While Spider-Man Falls, The Big Sick Underwhelms And Wish Upon Falters

Those damn dirty apes got to lead the box office again with their newest movie War For The Planet Of The Apes, which didn’t manage to break out as many had hoped it would. It did still gross $56.5 million, a small improvement on the debut of Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes which bowed to $54.8 million but also noticeably down from the $72.6 million bow of Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes. War is now the sixth biggest opening weekend for a movie Woody Harrelson appeared in, behind the bows of all four Hunger Games movies and 2012. Why didn’t this one manage to beat out Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes in terms of opening weekend grosses? I’m not sure. The marketing seemed fine to me, reviews were strong, maybe just opening it in such close proximity to Spidey hurt it since it couldn’t stand out as an event? Plus, people have gotten burned on sequels lately, we can’t discount that. If War plays like Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes from here, it’ll make $161 million domestically exactly, the lowest domestic cume of any 21st-century Planet Of The Apes movie.

War For The Planet Of The Apes may not have beaten box office records in its debut, but facing off against it still didn’t prove to be a smart idea for Spider-Man: Homecoming as it experienced handily the worst second-weekend decline of any Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, going down 61% to gross another $45.2 million. That’s an unexpectedly high second-weekend decline given the positive word-of-mouth the title’s received. Interestingly, you know what’s the only other MCU movie to dip over 60%? Captain America: The First Avenger, which is also the only other MCU movie to debut in July aside from Ant-Man (which went down a more restrained 56%). Who knows if there’s any correlation between these declines and the July release, but there’s certainly plenty of blockbusters that show you can debut in July without bottoming out a week later. Homecoming has now grossed $208.2 million and is probably looking at a final domestic cume in the $280-290 million range, still a solid haul if more frontloaded than they likely would have wanted.

In its third weekend, Despicable Me 3 grossed another $18.9 million, a 43% drop from last weekend, a much better third-weekend drop than the 53% drop Minions experienced in its own third weekend. Despicable Me 3 has grossed $187.9 million in 17 days and will likely end its domestic gross with $235-240 million. Meanwhile, Baby Driver actually cemented itself as one of the summer 2017 movies to have life after its opening weekend in this frame, grossing another $8.7 million, a tiny 33% dip from last weekend. With $73.1 million in the tank, this one’s running about on par with fellow original Sony/Columbia mid-summer title This Is The End in both weekend-to-weekend gross and domestic total at the same point and considering This Is The End ended up grossing $101.4 million domestically, that’s not a bad place for Baby Driver to aim for.

The Big Sick expanded into a whopping 2,597 locations this weekend, a big push for a movie that’s done extraordinary business in limited release. Once it went wide, the results were….OK, but definitely under expectations. Grossing only $7.5 million, that was below expectations going into the weekend and low enough to give put in the 150 worst opening wide release weekends for a movie playing in over 2,500. Why didn’t this one go bigger? Well, a lot of the press tour and interview stuff was targeted in the last few weeks for its limited release bow, it may have been wise to push some of those appearances to this week when it was going into wide release. The Big Sick (which Amazon paid $12 million for out of Sundance) has now grossed $15.9 million. Can it crack $30 million domestically? Probably but it won’t get much higher than that.

Wonder Woman, meanwhile, continues to hold spectacularly well, going down only 30% to gross another $6.9 million for a current domestic total of $380.7 million. This one should overtake Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 to become the biggest movie of summer 2017 by next weekend and will also likely end its domestic run with at least $415-420 million, a higher domestic total than all but two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies and the third biggest domestic total ever for a Warner Bros. movie. Man, this one really has become a financial juggernaut.

Indie studio Broad Green Pictures really has had rough luck as a self-distributing company. Their first title (A Walk In The Woods) did solid business, but all their other titles (99 Homes, The Infiltrator, Bad Santa 2, etc.) have all just failed to make even the tiniest box office impact. Wish Upon is the newest misfire for the company as the horror film grossed only $5.5 million. The obvious hope with this one was to create another mid-July horror sleeper hit like The Conjuring or Lights Out, but what little marketing for Wish Upon that did exist (did they even promote this thing beyond tacking the trailer on every movie I’ve gone to for the last three months?) lacked scares or even a compelling hook. This one will probably top out domestically in the $12-13 million range.

Despite no new family-friendly movies in the marketplace, Cars 3 couldn’t have a noticeably small weekend-to-weekend decline, instead going down 41% to gross an additional $3.1 million for a lackluster $140 million domestic total. In its fourth weekend of release, Transformers: The Last Knight had its third straight 55+% weekend-to-weekend drop, going down 56% this frame to gross another $2.7 million for a dismal domestic total of only $124.8 million. Rounding out the top ten was The House, which plummeted 62% to gross another $1.7 million for a disastrous domestic cume of $23.1 million for the $40 million budgeted motion picture.

Moving onto the limited releases, the newest entry in Disney’s Indian film division Jagga Jasoos grossed $414,000 at 250 theaters, an underwhelming result. I’d be curious to see how this one performs in its home country of India. Meanwhile, The Little Hours expanded into 105 theaters and grossed $318,510 from 105 theaters for a per-theater average of $3,033. That’s only an OK result as far as these expansions go but its per theater average held solidly from last weekend so that could bode well for further theater count expansion. Also holding well as its theater count grew was Maudie, which expanded into 99 theaters and grossed $252,836 for a per-theater average of $2,554, a small 8% dip from its per theater average from last weekend while its overall weekend was up 37% from last weekend. Maudie is actually showing solid stamina in its expansion and has grossed $3.5 million domestically. Meanwhile, going into 20 theaters this weekend was A Ghost Story which did so-so business, grossing $146,640 for a per-theater average of $7,332. With $288,946 in ten days domestic release, this David Lowrey movie is looking at a final domestic total in between $1.5 and $2 million, an underwhelming sum that continues the rough year A24 has had at the domestic box office.
Two other newbies on the scene included Lady Macbeth, which grossed an underwhelming $68,813 at 5 locations for a per-theater average of $13,763. Finally, the Alec Baldwin/Demi Moore feature Blind grossed a disastrous $13,000 from 13 locations.

The top 12 movies this weekend grossed $159.3 million, a solid cume that registers as the seventh biggest weekend in this timeframe. Halfway through July 2017, this month has so far grossed $580.8 million and it looks like the month as a whole is its on its way to grossing $1.1-to.1.2 billion total. Lemme close this out with a bold prediction for next weekend’s box office; Christopher Nolan’s new movie Dunkirk will not be the number one movie in America. No, that honor will go to Girl’s Trip. I am 110% serious about thus.