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Weekend Wrap-Up: Apes Conquer Box Office

August 8th, 2011

It seems summer is still around as the box office was stronger than expected. Not only did Rise of the Planet of the Apes earn more than last year's number one film, The Other Guys, by a large margin, but the rest of the box office was also able to gain ground on 2010. Granted, with a total haul of $167 million, it was down 7% from last weekend. But more importantly, it was up by 26% from last year. Year-to-date 2011 has pulled in $6.68 billion, which is still 5% lower than this point last year, but we are closing the gap and if the fall is as strong as the summer was, we could still squeeze out a win.

There's probably someone at Fox yelling, "Greenlight as the Apes!" Rise of the Planet of the Apes topped most of the high end expectations with $54.81 million. This is lower than the most recent remake Planet of the Apes, but it was the fourth biggest opening weekend of August. With reviews that are above 80% positive, it could have strong legs, at least compared to the industry norms of the day. Finally, it wasn't that expensive for a summer blockbuster, costing $93 million to make. By this time next week, it should surpass that domestically. It if can do as well internationally, then it should break even before it reaches the home market.

The Smurfs came within $1 million of weekend predictions, but fortunately for the studio, it was on the high end with $20.70 million. The film now has $75.90 million after ten days of release and it could hit $100 million as early as this time next week. There are plans for two more films in the franchise, which is good news for fans of the movie, but not so good news for critics.

Cowboys and Aliens probably won't get to the century mark after falling 57% to $15.73 million over the weekend for a total of $67.35 million after two. This was on the low end of expectations and doesn't necessarily rule out reaching $100 million, but it will depend on how well it holds onto its theater count. None of the new wide releases opening this week, or indeed the rest of summer, are major releases, so perhaps this film will hold on to the majority of its theaters for a long time. And maybe that will help it cross $100 million before the end.

The Change-Up missed even the low end of expectations with just $13.53 million and with reviews that are terrible, to be blunt, it is unlikely to stick around for any length of time. Hopefully it wasn't too expensive to make, otherwise the studio is going to lose a bundle.

Next up was Captain America: The First Avenger with $13.02 million over the weekend and $143.20 million after three. It has already earned more than it cost to make, and it should earn another $25 million or so before is slips out of theaters. If it can match that figure internationally, then it will have no trouble earning a profit early in its home market run.

Crazy, Stupid, Love was the only film in the sophomore class not to place in the top five. It fell to seventh place with $12.02 million over the weekend for a total of $42.10 million after two and at this pace, it could hit $75 million, which is more than enough to be a solid midlevel hit.

One final note, Horrible Bosses became the 18th film of the year to reach $100 million, hitting that milestone on Thursday. There are two, maybe three films currently in theaters that could join in that club.


Filed under: Weekend Box Office, The Smurfs, Cowboys and Aliens, Captain America: The First Avenger, The Change-Up, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Crazy, Stupid, Love, Horrible Bosses