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A battle is shaping up at the North American box office.
On Friday, the critically acclaimed War for the Planet of the Apes, the final installment in 20th Century Fox’s refurbished trilogy, opens everywhere in North America. Prerelease tracking suggests the tentpole will launch to $55 million or more, but that might not be enough to beat holdover Spider-Man: Homecoming.
If Sony and Marvel Studios’ Spider-Man reboot falls only 50 percent in its sophomore outing, that means a weekend tally of $58.5 million. But if it declines 55 percent or more, it will land in the low-$50 million range.
Amid a summer strewn with tentpoles panned by critics before disappointing at the domestic box office, War for the Planet of the Apes and Spider-Man: Homecoming both boast the identical certified fresh rating of a stellar 93 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. That’s slightly ahead of Wonder Woman (92 percent) and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the other two summer tentpoles bronzed by glowing reviews.
The latest Planet of the Apes installment, costing $150 million to produce before marketing, sees Matt Reeves once again sitting in the director’s chair after helming sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which debuted to $72.6 million domestically in July 2014. Rupert Wyatt directed the first title in the trilogy, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which bowed to $54.8 million in August 2011.
Set two years after the events of the last film, the threequel 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 the Apes movies with Fox.
Elsewhere, the supernatural horror-thriller Wish Upon debuts, while critical darling The Big Sick expands nationwide after a stellar limited run.
Wish Upon might have trouble scaring up much business, according to tracking, which shows the pic debuting to less than $5 million. From Broad Green Pictures and Orion Pictures, the movie — which stars Joey King, Ryan Phillippe, Elisabeth Rohm, Ki Hong Lee and Shannon Purser — hasn’t yet been screened for critics. In the film, a young girl’s every wish comes true after she’s given a music box by her father, along with terrifying consequences.
The Big Sick, from Amazon Studios and Lionsgate, will up its theater count from 326 locations to more than 2,500 in a key test for the specialty film business. The romantic comedy scored the top location average of the year to date ($84,135) when opening in five theaters on its way to grossing a strong $7.7 million through Tuesday. From a script by Kumail Nanjiani and his now-wife, Emily Gordon, the pic 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.
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