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Weekend Predictions: Will Apes vs. Spider be a One-Sided Fight?

July 13th, 2017

War for the Planet of the Apes

War for the Planet of the Apes is going to be the biggest of the three wide releases coming out this week. This much is a near certainty. However, there is some doubt if it will open in first place, or if Spider-Man: Homecoming will remain the top draw over the weekend. The only other wide release of the week is Wish Upon, a low-budget horror film, if it can just reach the top five, then the studio will be very happy. Finally, The Big Sick is expanding wide. Given its limited release run so far, it should become a sleeper hit over the summer. This weekend last year, The Secret Life of Pets and Ghostbusters had a one-two punch of nearly $100 million. I think War for the Planet of the Apes and Spider-Man: Homecoming will top that figure, while the overall depth should help 2017 win in the year-over-year competition, but it will likely be close.

War for the Planet of the Apes is the third installment in one of the strangest franchises around right now. Each installment has earned amazing reviews, including the 94% positive reviews for this film. Despite this, there has never been talk about turning this into a combined universe. Even Fast and the Furious has seen talk of a Hobbs spin-off. There was even talk that this would be the final installment in the franchise. That appears to have been walked back, but it is still refreshing to see a franchise being contained and not spinning off to a ridiculous degree. In fact, I would argue that’s why these films are consistent money makers. Audiences know they will get a self-contained story and they won’t have to watch a dozen movies over the next three years to get the full picture. That said, it is still very difficult for a franchise to keep growing installment after installment. Some are predicting this will have the weakest opening for the reboot with around $50 million. This will put it within range of Spider-Man: Homecoming, meaning it might not open in first place. On the other hand, there are some predicting north of $60 million, which would give it an easy first place finish. I’m going with $55 million during its opening weekend. This is a step back from the previous installment, but is still enough to be a big hit worldwide.

Spider-Man: Homecoming topped expectations last weekend, but there were signs that its legs would be a problem, despite its reviews. Falling more than 60% is a real possibility, but that would still leave the film with $45 million, more or less. I think it will avoid that fate, but come close with $47 million. This will give the film $210 million after ten days of release and put it on pace to hit $300 million domestically.

Despicable Me 3 should add another $17 million over the weekend, keeping it on pace to hit $200 million domestically. This will be the weakest in the franchise domestically, so look for a Minions 2 rather than a Despicable Me 4 in the future.

The Big Sick had one of the best openings in limited release and has shown amazing legs as it expanded. This week, it is expanding truly wide and could become a solid midlevel hit in the process. Its reviews are 97% positive, which is among the best of any wide release this year. On the other hand, expanding wide from a limited release is difficult under the best circumstances and there’s a chance the film will earn less than $10 million over the weekend. I’m hoping it will be in the low teens, but somewhere in-between is more likely. Let’s go with $12 million.

Baby Driver should round out the top five with $9 million over the weekend for a total of over $70 million. This will be enough to cover its entire production budget. The film is struggling internationally, but even so, it will break even early in its home market run.

The final wide release of the week is Wish Upon. Summer horror films rarely become monster hits, especially when they struggle with critics like this one does. Furthermore, it is being released by Broad Green Pictures, which is a newer distributor without a track record. They’ve never had a film earn more than $30 million at the box office and their previous releases this year have struggled in limited release. Worst case scenario has this film failing to make $10 million domestically. Even the best case scenario is barely more than $10 million during its opening weekend. I’m going with just over $7 million, which would be enough for the fourth best Broad Green Pictures domestic total and should be enough to earn second place for the distributor so far.

- War for the Planet of the Apes Comparisons
- The Big Sick Comparisons
- Wish Upon Comparisons

Filed under: Weekend Preview, Baby Driver, War for the Planet of the Apes, Despicable Me 3, Spider-Man: Homecoming, The Big Sick, Wish Upon, Planet of the Apes, Fast and the Furious, Despicable Me, Dwayne Johnson