Weekend Box Office: Apes Rule with a mighty opening (but so-so CinemaScore)

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes had a much bigger opening than expected, but it’s CinemaScore rating doesn’t bode well for word-of-mouth.

The mighty Planet of the Apes franchise ruled again at the box office, with the movie earning a mighty $56.5 million domestically (according to ComScore), which puts it right in line with the previous openings of Rise of the Planet of the Apes ($54.8 million) and War for the Planet of the Apes ($56.2 million). Dawn of the Planet of the Apes made a lot more at $72 million, but times have changed, and now a $50 million-plus opening is cause for celebration at the House of Mouse, with Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes the first solid box office win for Disney (who are releasing through 20th Century Films) in a while. This is much more than the $40 million we predicted earlier this week

However, there is one potential cloud on the horizon for the film. According to Deadline, the CinemaScore for the film has only garnered a B rating, which is low for a tentpole blockbuster and might hurt the film’s word of mouth. THe Caesar trilogy (Rise, Dawn and War) all earned an A- rating. Next weekend sees the release of John Krasinski’s family film, IF, which is considered a bit of a gamble, in that it could vastly under (or over) perform. 

The Fall Guy, Ryan Gosling, dark roles

Meanwhile, Universal’s The Fall Guy lost around 50% of its audience for a $13.7 million weekend. The movie seems unlikely to gross more than $80-90 million at the domestic box office, which is a drag, as the film will likely go down as one of the year’s biggest money-losers. It’s so strange that this movie hasn’t performed, with reviews and audiences all seemingly loving the film, but clearly, something somewhere didn’t connect, and audiences didn’t see this as a must-see.

The Zendaya-led tennis film Challengers continued to do well, with a $4.684 million weekend and a total just over $38 million. Could the film pass $50 million domestically? We’ll have to see, but even still it’s destined for a quick turnaround to Prime Video, which makes this a solid win for Amazon/MGM. The Sony horror flick Tarot made $3.45 million for an $11.7 million total. Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire added another $2.525 million to its coffers, with it well on its way to making $200 million domestically. 

The faith-based Unsung Hero made $2.25 million, and with a $16 million total, it seems like this one isn’t going to become a huge breakthrough hit for the Christian market. Kung Fu Panda 4 continued its strong box office showing, thanks mainly to a lack of competition out there for families, making $2 million for a $190 million-plus total. Could it pass the $200 million mark?

A24’s Civil War started to wind down a bit this week, with it making just under $2 million for a strong $65 million plus total, which makes it A24’s second-biggest movie ever domestically. Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace continued its 25th-anniversary celebration this year, with it making another $1.5 million (even if the movie’s new look has been controversial). Finally, Abigail, which just made its PVOD debut, made just over $1 million for tenth place and a total of just under $25 million. 

Next weekend sees the release of IF, as well as The Strangers: Chapter I, so it’ll be interesting to see if those damn dirty apes can hold on to a chunk of their audience. With many more films in the franchise planned, its second weekend will no doubt be the ultimate judge of whether or not this saga continues on the big screen.

Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/weekend-box-office-apes-rule-with-a-mighty-opening-but-so-so-cinemascore/

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