“War for the Planet of the Apes” won the box office war against “Spider-Man: Homecoming” this weekend, with industry estimates putting Fox/Chernin Entertainment’s dark sci-fi tale at a $56 million opening weekend from 4,022 screens. Pre-weekend projections had the film making $55-60 million.
That opening is down 23 percent from the $72.6 million made in 2014 by the film’s predecessor, “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.” But stiffer competition in the form of a critically-acclaimed Marvel movie is likely a large factor in the drop. When “Dawn” came out in this release frame four years ago, its main competition was “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” which was in its third weekend in theaters and made $16.3 million in that frame.
“War” will make more than the first installment in this reboot trilogy, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” which made $54.6 million in its opening in 2011. That film, released in the first weekend of August, made $176.7 million domestically and $481.8 million worldwide. Critically, “War” has performed incredibly well, posting a franchise-best 93 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and matching the A- score by “Rise” and “Dawn” on CinemaScore.
In second is Columbia’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming” with $45.2 million in its second weekend, a drop of 61 percent from its $117 million opening. While a bit more than the 55-60 percent drop-off range most Marvel movies take, its still enough to give “Homecoming” a ten-day domestic total of $208 million, higher than the entire domestic run for the last Spidey film, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” which made $202 million in 2014.
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In third is Universal/Illumination’s “Despicable Me 3,” which made $18.9 million in its third frame to bring its domestic cume to $188 million. The film has grossed $619 million worldwide. In fourth is TriStar/MRC’s “Baby Driver,” which added $8.7 million to bring its domestic total to $73.1 million.
Completing the top five is Amazon/Lionsgate’s “The Big Sick,” which expanded to 2,592 theaters after three weekends in limited release. The film made $7.6 million this weekend, pushing its total to $16 million. Finishing outside the top 5 is Broad Green’s “Wish Upon,” which only made $5.5 million from 2,250 screens against pre-weekend projections of $8-10 million. The film did poorly with critics and audiences, receiving 20 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and a C on CinemaScore.