Domination of ‘The Planet of the Apes’

ScreenerBlog

All hail Caesar. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes bowed to a spectacular $73 million this weekend, besting by 33 percent the debut of its predecessor, Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The latter’s popularity likely played a large role in Dawn’s success, as did, we can assume, the roundly favorable critical reviews: Dawn is 91 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Unsurprisingly, audiences were majority male (58 percent) and slightly older (55 percent over the age of 25). They awarded the film an “A-“ CinemaScore grade, which should translate to a fairly steady hold in the weeks ahead. Expect Dawn to tally out to north of $200 million.

Transformers: Age of Extinction suffered something of a freefall this Friday-Sunday spread, dropping 56 percent for a distant second place gross of $16.5 million. After two weeks at the top of the box office, the movie was due for a downturn, not that its fall has had much of a hobbling effect: To date, the actioner has grossed $209 million. If it continues apace, Extinction should earn around $250 million in total.

In third place, Tammy added an additional $12.9 million to a gross that now stands at $57.4 million. Despite its poor reviews, the Melissa McCarthy comedy will likely clock in at $80 million or so.

Tenacious holdovers 22 Jump Street and How to Train Your Dragon 2 landed side-by-side on the b.o. charts yet again this weekend, earning the No. 4 and 5 slots, respectively. The former enjoyed $6.7 million worth of business, while HTTYD2 raked in $5.9 million. The bonafide-success Jump Street has so far grossed $172 million to the solid, if disappointing, Dragon’s $152.1 million total.

Unfortunately, even with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ boffo opening, overall revenue was once again down (by 26 percent) from this same weekend last year. The specialty box office, however, boasted several noteworthy successes. John Carney’s Begin Again managed to crack the Top 10, clocking in at No. 6 with $2.9 million worth of earnings. The new documentary from conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza, America, had a great hold, dipping only 11 percent to earn $2.5 million. Finally, Richard Linklater’s Boyhood had a fantastic opening, arguably the specialty equivalent of Dawn’s wide-release debut: The movie grossed $359,000 from five theatres in NYC and LA, which works out to a per-theatre average of $71,800. That’s the second best per-location average this year, just behind Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel.