Box Office: 'War for the Planet of the Apes' Stomping Past 'Spider-Man' With $57M
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 Apes is stomping past holdover Spider-Man: Homecoming at the North American box office, topping Friday's chart with $22.1 million from 4,022 theaters for a projected $57.5 million debut.
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 performing ahead of expectations but will still open behind the 2014 sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes ($72.6 million). It will, however, best the 2011 film, Rise of the Planet of the Apes ($54.8 million). Friday's haul included $5 million in Thursday-night previews.
Spider-Man: Homecoming grossed around $13.7 million Friday from 4,348 cinemas for a sophomore outing of $47 million-$48 million. That would mean a decline of 60 percent or 59 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. Sony's Spider-Man reboot will finish the weekend with a tidy domestic total of roughly $210 million.
War for the Planet of the Apes has 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). And it earned an A- CinemaScore from audiences.
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 earned an estimated $2.3 million Friday from 2,250 theaters for a projected $5.5 million-$6 million debut, putting it at No. 7. Starring Joey King, Ryan Phillippe and Elisabeth Rohm, the film around a young girl who's given a music box by her father that grants her every wish, with terrifying consequences. Wish Upon received a C CinemaScore.
There's major action at the specialty box office as director Michael Showalter's critical darling The Big Sick, from Amazon Studios and Lionsgate, expands nationwide into 2,597 theaters after a glowing limited run. The romantic comedy grossed an estimated $2.5 million Friday for $7 million-$8 million weekend.
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.
The Big Sick looks to come in No. 5 behind War for the Planet of the Apes, Spider-Man, Despicable Me 3 and Edgar Wright's heist thriller Baby Driver. Universal and Illumination's Despicable Me 3 , playing in 4,155 theaters, is anticipating a $19.4 million weekend for a domestic total of $188.4 million. Baby Driver, Sony's second big win of the summer, is projected to gross another $8.7 million for a North American cume of $73 million.
Wonder Woman — now in its seventh weekend — will finally fall out of the top five to No. 6 with an estimated $6.5 million weekend for a dazzling domestic total of around $380 million. The Warner Bros. release is enjoying an unheard of hold and is now assured of topping out at $395 million or more.
July 15, 7:15 a.m. Updated with Friday numbers and revised weekend estimates.