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Thursday, July 31, 2014



Weekend Estimates: Apes Dawns with $73 Million

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes poster

In the midst of a disappointing Summer for Hollywood, the arrival of an unabashed success is welcome news indeed, and thatís what we have this weekend, with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes delivering an excellent $73 million opening weekend, well ahead of early industry expectations. The success of the film is most likely down to two factors: first, its reviews have been excellent, and, second, its storyline is sufficiently interesting to draw in people who arenít excited by the thought of yet another super hero/monster movie. After the success of Maleficent and the failure of Edge of Tomorrow, films that strive to be a bit different are now scoring 2 out of 3 this Summer; films that are the product of formulas and marketing departments havenít produced a single out-and-out hit. If the studios could get the message in the that, we really would see the dawn of something.

Talking of formulas and marketing departments, Transformers: Age of Extinction will be down another 55% this weekend, to $16.5 million, and looks like it will join this yearís sizable $220 millionĖ$260 million-domestic-box-office club. It will see the biggest drop in the top 20 this weekend. The smallest drop for a film that isnít expanding will, surprisingly, be around an 11% decline for America: Imagine a World Without Her, according to Lionsgate. Perhaps the July 4 holiday actually hurt that film rather than helping it?

Expanding this week, and jumping into the top 10, is Begin Again. It will post $2.9 million or so from 939 theaters, and finish in 9th place. Its $3,000 theater average suggests it wonít expand much further, but it makes a welcome addition to the top 10.

The standout performance of the weekend comes from Richard Linklaterís Boyhood, which IFC is projecting will earn $359,000 on debut from just five theaters. Its theater average of $71,800 will be the second best of the year, behind The Grand Budapest Hotel, and it joins that film as an early contender for a Best Picture nomination when the Oscars come around.

Also making cheery starts in limited release are Land Ho!, with $37,800 in four theaters this weekend, and Closed Curtain, with $8,500 in five days from a single theater. Those two, plus Boyhood and Planet of the Apes, make for four new films worth checking out this weekend that donít have a superhero or giant monster between them. If every weekend was like this, we wouldnít have box office funks to worry about.

- Weekend Estimates

Bruce Nash bruce.nash@the-numbers.com


Date posted: 2014-07-13