Elsewhere, supernatural horror film ‘Wish Upon’ isn’t scaring up much business, while ‘The Big Sick’ expands nationwide after an impressive limited run at the specialty box office.
Director Matt Reeves’ War for the Planet of the Apesis stomping past holdover Spider-Man: Homecoming at the Friday box office for a likely No. 1 finish in its North American debut, according to early returns.
Heading into the weekend, it was unclear whether the final installment in 20th Century Fox’s refurbished trilogy would be able to beat Sony’s Spider-Man, which swung to a stellar $117 million last weekend.
Apes is projected to gross $18 million or more from 4,022 theaters on Friday for a domestic opening in the $50 million-$55 million range. That would be behind the 2014 sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes ($72.6 million) but on par with Rise of the Planet of the Apes ($54.8 million). Friday’s haul will include $5 million in Thursday-night previews.
Box-office observers caution that the numbers could shift as the weekend unfolds.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is tipped to earn $14 million Friday from 4,348 cinemas for a sophomore outing of $47 million-$50 million. That would mean a decline of 57 percent to 60 percent, a bigger drop than the summer’s two other superhero sensations, Wonder Woman, which fell a scant 43 percent, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (56 percent), but certainly in keeping with many other comic book adaptations.
War for the Planet of the Apes roared to a stellar 94 percent certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, ahead of Spider-Man: Homecoming (93 percent), Wonder Woman (92 percent) and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (81 percent).
The latest Planet of the Apes installment, costing $150 million to produce before marketing, follows Caesar (Andy Serkis) as he and the other apes try to survive the ongoing war with mankind and the wrath of a ruthless human dictator (Woody Harrelson). Chernin Entertainment produced.
Elsewhere, new entry Wish Upon is having trouble scaring up much business for Broad Green Pictures and Orion. The supernatural horror pic is projected to gross $1.5 million-$2 million on Friday from 2,250 theaters for a $5 million-$6 million range weekend. The movie, starring Joey King, Ryan Phillippe and Elisabeth Rohm, revolves around a young girl who’s given a music box by her father that grants her every wish, with terrifying consequences.
There’s major action at the specialty box office as director Michael Showalter’s The Big Sick, from Amazon Studios and Lionsgate, expands nationwide into 2,597 theaters after a glowing limited run. The romantic comedy is projected to earn roughly $3 million on Friday for a weekend gross in the $8 million range.
From a script by Kumail Nanjiani and his now-wife, Emily Gordon, The Big Sick draws from their real-life courtship and revolves around a young Pakistani comedian (Nanjiani) and his American girlfriend (Zoe Kazan) who must contend with their cultural differences and two very different sets of parents. Judd Apatow produced.