This summer has seen a constant flow of infecting creatures invading at theaters. In recent weeks we have become inundated with robots, minions, spiders, and now monkeys. Well actually apes, and all manner of hominids. (Well, actually Andy Serkis in a motion-cap suit.)
The run of massive tentpole releases week after week continued, as studios seem content to choke the box office jungle with sequels and reboots. With little room to swing freely the release slate has variable levels of success up and down the list. Let’s dig in and see who was able to pluck the low hanging fruit in theaters.
- WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES — $ 56.5 million
20th Century Fox has had a good run with this series, and it continues to be the case. There are indicators that a slower opening is giving way to a more robust weekend, a sign of audience approval. One surprising part of this series has been the positive critical reception. “War” is currently sitting on a 94% approval on Rotten Tomatoes, as audiences grade it out with the “A-” CinemaScore. Seems the attempt by Deray McKessen to manufacture a controversy did little to impact the fortunes of this title.
- SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING – $ 45.2m
While the second week hold is a big drop of -61%, that is normal for front-loaded comic book titles, and it is off a deeply impressive opening, so no tears are being shed at Sony. This too has been a critical darling and audiences have favored it. Coming close to $ 50million in a sophomore frame is good news for most any title.
- DESPICABLE ME 3 – $ 18.94m
Universal is still in the printing money phase with this franchise. It is already edging up to the $ 200million level, and it just crossed $ 600million globally. Then roll in the massive product lines attached, and you have thee promise of many more versions to come.
- BABY DRIVER – $ 8.75m
This adult action piece continues to impress as an alternative to the teen titles rampaging through theaters. What is interesting is if it has enough gas to pass up “John Wick 2”, which drew in $ 92million this past February.
- THE BIG SICK – $ 7.6m
Generating positive reactions in very limited release this indie comedy was given the wide rollout this weekend, spreading into 2,600 screens. Amazon acquired this out of Sundance for a high price and it looks to be a winner. As it tapers off through August the adult crowd should push it into profitability.
- WONDER WOMAN – $ 6.88m
Still only shedding a few hundred screens, after 7 weeks in release. She is inching ever closer to overtaking “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” as the biggest hit of the summer. DC overtaking a Marvel title for the top spot is indeed news.
- WISH UPON – $ 5.58m
A new terror offering that is not finding an audience. A micro studio put out this horror title with a PG-13 rating, and no stars or clout behind it. Turning a profit may become an unrealized dream.
- CARS 3 – $ 3.16m
A severe disappointment considering this is a Pixar film that has been out for a month, and it has not made over $ 150million. The expansive toy line however will be where the studio will place its focus anyway.
- TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT – $ 2.78m
And in that same realm of disappointments, this franchise has been a behemoth in previous releases and it still has not made $ 125million. Globally it has drawn $ 500 million, yet may still be well off of hitting the line for profitability.
- THE HOUSE – $ 1.79m
Ready to be condemned. This fizzled Will Ferrell comedy has only earned $ 23million so far in 3 weeks – which was about the early projection for its opening weekend.