Weekend Predictions: Apes Look to Climb to the Top

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes poster

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the only new wide release of the week and since last week's new releases underperformed, it will dominate the box office this weekend. In fact, it will dominate the box office, even if it barely managed to live up to its predecessor. Transformers: Age of Extinction will be well back with less than $20 million, while Tammy might not reach $10 million. By comparison, this weekend last year, there were two films that earned more than $40 million (Despicable Me 2 and Grown Ups 2) and a total of six films earned $10 million or more. 2014 is going to get crushed in the year-over-year comparison.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the follow-up to Rise of the Planet of the Apes. That film earned excellent reviews and did very well at the box office, but didn't become a monster hit. The strong word-of-mouth should help this film top the original, so should its reviews, which are currently more than 90% positive. The buzz is also impressive with some analysts predicting an opening of close to $80 million. I would love that to happen, because the box office really needs it, but I think that's too optimistic. Just over $70 million is probably as good as it will get, while just under $70 million is likely the safest bet. I'm going with $68 million, but I hope to be pleasantly surprised over the weekend.

Transformers: Age of Extinction fell more than 60% last weekend and while things shouldn't be as bad this weekend, the film will still fall more than 50%. It should earn a distant second place with $17 million over the weekend, which will push its running tally to over $200 million. This is enough to be considered a financial success; however, it is well below the pace of the other films in the franchise.

Tammy will earn third place, mainly by default. The lack of direct competition will help, but the reviews won't, likely leading to a drop-off of just over 50%. That would give it a sophomore stint weekend haul of $10 million, more or less.

There will be three films in the $5 million to $6 million range fighting for fourth place.

I think How to Train Your Dragon 2 has the advantage, but I'm not sure. It will cross $150 million this weekend, which makes it a hit, but it is also a disappointment compared to expectations.

On the other hand, 22 Jump Street is a stellar hit and has made more than enough domestically to cover its combined budget. It has already made more than the original and I assume the studio is working on the third installment as we speak.

Earth to Echo will likely be the odd man out this weekend with $5 million. It is not doing great, but it was inexpensive to make.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2014-07-10