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APES Rise to Top

Rise of the Planet of Apes debuts in first place.

By Jarrod Sarafin     August 07, 2011

Rise of the Planet of the Apes debuts in first place
© 20th Century Fox/Bob Trate


Comic superheroes, swash-buckling pirates, giant angry robots and warring wizards have all enjoyed box office domination over this 2011 summer slate of releases. It’s now time for some simians to conquer the multiplex as we rapidly approach the end of Hollywood’s tent pole season. And that they did with Rise of the Planet of the Apes taking down an estimated $54 million at the box office and another $23.4 million from 25 foreign markets across the globe.
Led by James Franco and Andy Serkis—with his latest motion-capture performance of Caesar---Fox chose the first weekend of August to introduce their origin reboot of the “Planet” franchise and came out well ahead of expectations, with forecasts having it somewhere between $30 and $35 million by the closing of Sunday.
With the film showing excellent scores from just about all the major demographics, including an 81% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes, the studio chiefs at 20th Century Fox are obviously pleased with the results they’re seeing at the moment.
"The combination of never-before-seen special effects combined with a powerful, emotional story made for a supremely satisfying experience at the movies," Fox senior vice president of domestic distribution Chris Aronson said.
It’s also a huge launch for Chernin Entertainment—founded by Peter Chernin and Dylan Clark---with this film being their first official title in release.
"We're thrilled to launch Chernin Entertainment with a film that so positively resonated with audiences We're proud of the artistic achievement of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, as it is a testament to a smart script, great direction by Rupert Wyatt, stellar actor performances, the amazing visual effects created by the Weta team and the passion and dedication of the entire crew and our partners at 20th Century Fox," Chernin and Clark said in a statement.
Despite the heavy special effects from Peter Jackson’s WETA, Fox, Dune Entertainment and Ingenious managed to keep the budget down to only $93 million in coin. With both the domestic and foreign box office races adding up to $77.4 million after only 3 days of release, it seems to be a successful weekend for the refreshed property.
Those little blue guys also continue to impress expectations, with Sony’s adaptation of The Smurfs following in 2nd place for the weekend. Having already surprised predictions by pacing alongside last weekend’s Cowboys & Aliens---but barely falling short with the Monday actuals---the 3D family film managed another $21.0 million in ticket sales for this report, dropping only 41% with audiences across the nation. The second frame’s estimates has increased its domestic tally to $76.2 million and with another $52.8 million from early foreign markets, the release has a global cume of $129.0 million after 10 days of release. Not bad at all for a CG film which cost only $110 million to produce.
The same positive approach can’t be said for Universal’s Cowboys & Aliens, which found itself sliding another 56% in its second frame. With many insiders hoping its western-focused aging demographic would translate for steady legs at the box office, the Jon Favreau-directed adventure found only $15.7 million in its sophomore report. Invading 3,754 theaters across the nation, that weekend gross averages out to only $4,195 per showing with its core audience and has its domestic sum at $67.3 million in receipts. It still has nearly another $100 million to go before it can reach the $163 million price tag that comes equipped with it. And we still have no foreign numbers to report as of this writing.
The only remaining new wide release of this weekend was Universal’s body-switch comedy, The Change-Up. The Ryan Reynolds-Jason Bateman effort found $13.5 million over its first 3 days of release, averaging $4,635 per showing in each of its 2,913 theaters across the nation. With a $52 million budget to overcome, it played well to older moviegoers with 50% of its audience being over the age of 30 years.
And taking down the 5th place spot is Paramount’s Captain America: The First Avenger. The top avenger managed to cross its budget mark by pulling in another $13.0 million in its third frame of release, increasing its domestic score to $143.1 million. Not including the marketing for the Chris Evans-led feature, the budget was set down at $140 million. The captain does have another $103 million from its oversea territories. With both markets combined, Paramount and Marvel have a global score of $246.1 million after 17 days of release.
If you wanted to compare the two Avengers films of this summer, Thor would be slightly ahead of the pacing here. The Chris Hemsworth-led film had $145.4 million after 17 days of release though there’s something to be said about it being released in May as compared to the waning days of the summer season.
Before we go, it should be noted that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- Part 2 found another $100 million in global ticket sales this week. This means the final Potter adventure has climbed the all-time worldwide list to 3rd place, a spot it will keep for sometime behind James Cameron’s Avatar and Titanic.
Here’s how that all-time worldwide race now sits.
1. Avatar- $2.782 billion
2. Titanic- $1.843 billion
3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows-Part 2- $1.133 billion
4. LOTR: The Return of the King- $1.119 billion
5. POTC: Dead Man’s Chest- $1.066 billion
6. Toy Story 3- $1.063 billion
7. Transformers: Dark of the Moon- $1.037 billion
8. POTC: On Stranger Tides- $1.037 billion
9. Alice in Wonderland (2010)- $1.024 billion
10. The Dark Knight- $1.001 billion

Rise of the Planet of the Apes
$54.0 mil
$54.0 mil
The Smurfs
$21.0 mil
$76.2 mil
Cowboys & Aliens
$15.7 mil
$67.3 mil
The Change-Up
$13.5 mil
$13.5 mil
Captain America: The First Avenger
$13.0 mil
$143.1 mil
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2
$12.1 mil
$342.8 mil
Crazy, Stupid, Love
$12.1 mil
$42.1 mil
Friends with Benefits
$4.7 mil
$48.5 mil
Horrible Bosses
$4.6 mil
$105.1 mil
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
$3.0 mil
$344.1 mil

We can call the summer worldwide race official, with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- Part 2 grabbing another $100 million over the past few days. It now has a sizeable lead over Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, with a worldwide gross of $1,133,901,000 at the box office this summer.
It’s not like those other two films have anything to be upset about. It’s an accomplishment enough for Hollywood and their respective studios to have three billion dollar grossing films in such a short span of time.
We can use these remaining weekends of the summer season to shore up the rest of the top 5 (or top 10 if you’re going that far back) of the 2011 tent pole schedule.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- Part 2 Numbers:
Budget: $200 mil
Opening: $169.1 mil

Domestic: $342.8 mil
Foreign: $791.1 mil
Worldwide: $1.133 bil
Transformers: Dark of the Moon Numbers:
Budget: $195 mil
Opening: $97.8 mil
Domestic: $344.1 mil
Foreign: $693.5 mil
Worldwide: $1.037 bil
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Numbers:
Budget: $250 mil
Opening: $90.1 mil

Domestic: $239.0 mil
Foreign: $798.1 mil
Worldwide: $1.037 bil
Kung Fu Panda 2 Numbers:
Budget: $150 mil
Opening: $47.6 mil

Domestic: $162.6 mil
Foreign: $451.0 mil
Worldwide: $613.6 mil
Fast Five Numbers:
Budget: $125 mil
Opening: $86.1 mil

Domestic: $209.8 mil
Foreign: $394.5 mil
Worldwide: $604.3 mil
The Hangover II Numbers:
Budget: $80 mil
Opening: $85.9 mil

Domestic: $253.2 mil
Foreign: $324.6 mil
Worldwide: $577.8 mil
Thor Numbers:
Budget: $150 mil
Opening: $65.7 mil

Domestic: $180.8 mil
Foreign: $267.1 mil
Worldwide: $447.9 mil
Cars 2 Numbers:
Budget: $200 mil
Opening: $66.1 mil

Domestic: $184.7 mil
Foreign: $258.4 mil
Worldwide: $443.1 mil
X-Men: First Class Numbers:
Budget: $160 mil
Opening: $55.1 mil

Domestic: $145.2 mil
Foreign: $203.8 mil
Worldwide: $349.0 mil
Captain America: The First Avenger Numbers:
Budget: $140 mil
Opening: $65.0 mil

Domestic: $143.1 mil
Foreign: $103.0 mil
Worldwide: $246.1 mil
Green Lantern Numbers:
Budget: $200 mil
Opening: $53.1 mil

Domestic: $114.4 mil
Foreign: $45.7 mil
Worldwide: $160.1 mil
Rise of the Planet of the Apes Numbers:
Budget: $93 mil
Opening: $54.0 mil

Domestic: $54.0 mil
Foreign: $23.4 mil
Worldwide: $77.4 mil
Cowboys & Aliens Numbers:
Budget: $163 mil
Opening: $36.4 mil

Domestic: $67.3 mil
Foreign: N/A yet
Worldwide: $67.3 mil
Friday, August 12, 2011 Releases:
Final Destination 5 (3,100+)
30 Minutes or Less (2,600+)
The Help (2,500+)
Glee the 3D Concert Movie (1,800+)
Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow


Showing items 1 - 10 of 42
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wessmith1966 8/7/2011 2:35:53 PM

Apes was excellent; almost out of left field for me because I remember being very unimpressed with the first trailer for the film. I really wasn't sure what I'd get in this movie. Franco (who I'm not a fan of) was almost a throw-away character as was the slumdog actress (who is dropdead gorgeous), but Lithgow's character was an emotional touchstone in the film.This film really was all about Caesar's journey. A lot of nods to the original film series which was nice touch. I know there's a lot of talk about an Oscar nod for Serkis but I just don't see that happening. I'm sure his performance lent a lot to Caesar's personality but it's still a CG character regardless of the motion capture involved. Unless Oscar creates a special category for motion capture characters I don't see them acknowledging Serkis personally.

The Changeup was a fun date-night movie and we laughed a lot. I thought it might do a little better at the box office. In case you haven't seen Crazy, Stupid, Love I'd recommend it if you like romantic dramedies that have intertwined stories.

Saw Captain America again before it leaves my theater. I'm just thrilled with how great a job Marvel did with the movie. They've got to be happy with the box office results for both Cap and Thor. Can't wait for Avengers in May and a good trailer that isn't just a few quick flashes.

vitieddie 8/7/2011 3:15:26 PM


Watched it on Sat and it was great. The script was smart and well paced. I liked the fact that apart from Caesar, the other main apes had character and personality. Caesar was the standout and enjoyed the way he rose to the top in the shelter. There were some poignant moments sprinkled through the movie.

So in the end, it was not the apes who defeated the humans.

I was less interested in the action scenes. Maybe its because I'm jaded, having seen so many movies. Some of the plot was not properly fleshed out e.g. how Franco suddenly becomes opposed to the fast tracking of the testing of the virus.

Overall a very well produced, performed and structured film. 4 out of 5 stars.

dalgoda 8/7/2011 3:21:15 PM

Looks like HP will win the domestic and worldwide box office for the summer.  After the steep second week drop, I wasn't sure if it would catch TF3 domestically but it will pass it  one day this week. 

The surprises to me have been Thor and Fast Five.  Thor was a difficult character to translate to the big screen and tie in to the Avengers but Marvel did a great job.  Cap was easier to translate to movies IMO than Thor but that was a great movie as well.  I didn't actually see Fast Five because I stopped after the first movie, but for a part 5 to blow up like it did and be critically praised as well is surprising.

Disappointments have been Green Lantern and Cowboys & Aliens.  Even though I enjoyed both, the box office has been disappointing and both were critically panned.

The last summer movies I will see are the Apes movie and Conan.  Apes had a good opening and has been well reviewed.  Early buzz on Conan has been negative but I am there regardless.  Conan is one of my favorites.

Hobbs 8/7/2011 3:47:56 PM

I know you are a fan and maybe a little blinded by that fact wes but I think you are fooling yourself if you think Marvel is happy with the bo numbers for CA thus far.  From everything I read they were thinking it would do better than Thor and it looks like it might not even top that.  In the end it will make money but not the blockbuster they were hoping for. They shouldn't have dumbed down the Red Skull and made Cap a little more human, just my opinion.  Still liked it but as I said when it came out it could have been so much better.

After thinking about it this week I would say Apes is the best movie I've seen this summer by far.  Hanso son, if you are out there, I think you will like like it as well. Though don't hate me if I'm wrong.  I'm glad it's a hit as that means we'll see more.

I don't think there was any doubt HP would be King of the BO this year.  There is nothing out there rest of year that can even come close to it.


Wiseguy 8/7/2011 4:06:19 PM

Loved Apes, thought C&A was medicre, loved Captain America and like wessmith saw it one more time this weekend. It's funny but I actually have enjoyed Cap more in my repeat viewing than I did in my very first. I think Marvel has to be happy with Cap's returns so far, they haven't been mindblowing but respectable and the overseas numbers were a major concern but it seems to be headed for a good result.

Looking at that all time list only makes me feel more awe about what Cameron has managed to do with Titanic and Avatar. There are major leage hitters on that list yet they're not even close to challenging Cameron's works. Yeah yeah someday somebody will top them but the fact no one has even done half of what Avatar has done is still pretty damn amazing.

Planning on making an exemption next week and checking out the comedy 30 Minutes or Less and for some guilty pleasure Final Destination afterwards

Wiseguy 8/7/2011 4:12:57 PM

You know I think someone said it before but that C&A had that same ewoks take down the empire sort of feel to it. Funny being taken down by six shooters and arrows when you have such high tech at your disposal.

One question, I think I missed the reason why the aliens needed the human hostages. Maybe I fell asleep when it was explained but can anyone help me out. I don't have time to waste to sit through it again

hanso 8/7/2011 4:42:10 PM

Why yes Hobbs, I did checkout the Apes flick and I quite liked it.

Wess, I agree about the Serkis Oscar thing, till they figure out how much is the actor vs how much is the computer then they shouldn't nominate or award those types of roles imo.

Btw, is Captain America on pace to become the worst performing Marvel flick or did it over take Incredible Hulk?

ElBaz13 8/7/2011 5:21:19 PM

Why is everyone thinking Cap is a box office failure?

I don't think Marvel was expecting Spidey or Batman numbers for this movie. Spidey, Batman and Supes are in a league of their own for A-list characters.

Cap falls in the same category as Flash, GL, Iron Man, Hulk, etc...

If you look at the numbers, 246 million worldwide and counting, I'm sure it will pocket another 20-30 million. At 276 million, that's more than Hulk. Sure everyone will say "Iron Man 1 did more cash than that", well Iron Man had had the benefit of being the first summer movie out of the gate lead by a charismatic lead actor and not much competition for several weeks except for Indy 4.

Cap had to go against the last Potter sandwiched in between another genre movie the week after with Cowboys and Aliens and a family film (Smurfs) more than likely to draw more people away. Plus I'm sure the general summer movie audience were getting weery of another superhero film (the 4th this summer).

I'm also sure the Cap merchandise sale will exceed Hulk's and most probably like Iron Man, be one of the top DVDs/blu-rays of the year. There is no way this was a flop. I actually find it impressive Cap made 100 million overseas vs GL's 45 million.

JarrodSarafin 8/7/2011 5:24:11 PM

The Incredible Hulk finished its theatrical run (84 days) at $134.8 million domestic and $128.6 million foreign so Captain America is performing better there, Hanso.

karas1 8/7/2011 5:25:19 PM

In Cowboys and Aliens, the aliens were doing experiments on the humans, disecting them so they could discover good ways of killing them in the name of pest control.  And I think there was a little sadism involved there as well.

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