The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' thumps chest with $73 million opening at box office

  • Print

NEW YORK, N.Y. - The monkey business is a good business to be in at the box office.

"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" roared to $73 million on its opening weekend, one of the summer's best debuts, according to studio estimates Sunday. The 20th Century Fox sequel easily surpassed the $54.8 million opening to 2011's "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," the reboot of the fabled chimp franchise.

In a summer heavy on hype but thin on quality, "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" has proven to be one of the few hits that combined both spectacle and substance. Directed by Matt Reeves ("Cloverfield"), the 3-D "Dawn" has drawn enthusiasm from critics and moviegoers alike, particularly for the motion-capture performance by Andy Serkis as the film's lead ape, Caesar. In the film, Caesar's tribe suspiciously encounters a colony of surviving humans on a planet overrun by intelligent apes.

"When you get the kind of reviews we got and the audience actually agrees, it's the kind of rare thing where critics and audiences come together and say this is a great movie," said Chris Aronson, head of distribution at Fox.

A sequel to be directed by Reeves is already in the works to further extend the franchise that first began with 1968's "Planet of the Apes," based on Pierre Boulle's French novel. Four movies followed in the 1970s, as well as a failed 2001 reboot by Tim Burton.

But "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" will easily dwarf previous installments. It added $31.1 million overseas from 26 markets, for a global opening gross of $104.1 million.

"If every summer movie had this kind of release, that would be amazing," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box-office tracker Rentrak, praising the film's intelligence, entertainment value and marketing. "It combines all the elements of what a smart summer film should be."

After two weeks on top, the Michael Bay action sequel "Transformers: Age of Extinction" slid to second with $16.5 million. Its three-week domestic total is now $209 million for Paramount. The Melissa McCarthy comedy "Tammy" came in third with $12.9 million. Though bad reviews have dampened the response to McCarthy's latest, the relatively low-budget release has made $57.4 million for Warner Bros. in two weeks.

The big opening for "Dawn" helped give the summer box office a shot in the arm, but it wasn't enough to stop an overall downward trend. The weekend's box office was down nearly 24 per cent from the corresponding weekend last year, according to Rentrak. The summer overall is down 20 per cent from last year, which was a record season for Hollywood.

The thinness of the summer schedule is a big reason for the drop. Whereas last year had multiple big-budget releases jockeying for position against each other, many weekends this summer have had little blockbuster competition. Last year's same weekend featured the openings of "Grown Ups 2" and "Pacific Rim," in addition to recent holdovers like "Despicable Me 2" and "The Heat."

Instead, the most notable other new release this weekend was Richard Linklater's "Boyhood," an independent film Linklater shot over 12 years to capture the natural aging of his cast. One of the most acclaimed films of the year, the IFC Films release opened in five theatres for a robust $76,000 per-screen average.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theatres, according to Rentrak. Where available, latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released on Monday.

1. "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes," $73 million. ($31.1 million international.)

2. "Transformers: Age of Extinction," $16.5 million ($102 million international).

3. "Tammy," $12.9 million.

4. "22 Jump Street," $6.7 million ($6.3 million international).

5. "How to Train Your Dragon 2," $5.9 million ($34.4 million international).

6. "Earth to Echo," $5.5 million.

7. "Deliver Us From Evil," $4.7 million ($1.4 million international).

8. "Maleficent," $4.2 million ($13.4 million international).

9. "Begin Again," $2.9 million ($750,000 international).

10. "Jersey Boys," $2.5 million ($1.8 million international).

___

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theatres (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to Rentrak:

1. "Transformers: Age of Extinction," $102 million.

2. "How to Train Your Dragon 2," $34.4 million.

3. "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes," $31.1 million.

4. "Maleficent," $13.4 million.

5. "Old Boys: The Way of the Dragon," $12.4 million.

6. "The Breakup Guru," $11 million.

7. "The Fault in Our Stars," $7.8 million.

8. "22 Jump Street," $6.3 million.

9. "The Divine Move," $6 million.

10. "Les Vacances du petit Nicolas," $4.5 million.

___

Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.

___

Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jake_coyle

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Keri Latimer looks for beauty in the dark and the spaces between the notes

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 060711 Chris Pedersen breeds Monarch butterflies in his back yard in East Selkirk watching as it transforms from the Larva or caterpillar through the Chrysalis stage to an adult Monarch. Here an adult Monarch within an hour of it emerging from the Chrysalis which can be seen underneath it.
  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 090728 / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS White Pelicans belly up to the sushi bar Tuesday afternoon at Lockport. One of North America's largest birds is a common sight along the Red RIver and on Lake Winnipeg. Here the fight each other for fish near the base of Red RIver's control structure, giving human fisher's downstream a run for their money.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should Manitoba support the transport of nuclear waste through the province?

View Results

Ads by Google