Can you even imagine? A world overrun by Reject Reports? It’s like there’d be no movies, but we’d still report the weekend box office. While I stew over the quandary that’s just created, the world outside is still running smoothly. Blockbuster movies are still hitting. Small indie flicks are dividing audiences around certain parts of the country. Transformers are raking in a billion dollars. But this week, like it or not, belongs to the apes. Not Nim. I looked into it, and he’s safe, but the other ones are about to rise up and start fight back.
Let’s see just how well those apes can handle themselves against the collective force of Smurfs, Captain America, and Jason Bateman.
The total amount on the entire Planet of the Apes series is $261.8m, but let’s be fair, most of those came during a time when $8m was lucrative. Yes, it’s still lucrative for most of us – what I’d give for $8m in my bank account right now – but the bulk of that total amount came from Tim Burton’s 2001 remake. That Summer hit brought in $180m domestic, $68.5m of which came in its first weekend. Rise of the Planet of the Apes doesn’t look to match that. Not even close.
The Planet of the Apes franchise isn’t what it used to be, not even what it was 10 short years ago. The director is untested and the cast doesn’t feature any A-listers. Sorry to all you Tom Felton fans out there. What’s really selling this film is the amazing work done by Weta Digital and Andy Serkis to create Caesar, the ruler of the uprising apes. Still, with schools still in their Summer months, movie goers wanting one last blast in the theater, and the generally positive word of the mouth it’s getting, Rise could find itself in the mid to high $40ms. Not an awe-inspiring amount but still not bad for a bunch of damn, dirty apes. I couldn’t resist.
It’s only eight seconds long, but here’s what Charlton Heston has to say about Hollywood and the current trend of prequels and remakes:
Then there’s Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds, two actors who you would swear have had monster hits to their name. Sure, the two have been in some pretty big movies, but their ability to carry a movie that doesn’t have another form of brand loyalty built in is questionable. Bateman’s biggest opening is Hancock at $62.6m, thank you very much Will Smith. Reynolds’s biggest is X-Men Origins: Wolverine with $85m, thank you very much Stan Lee. Bateman had a decent opening with Horrible Bosses earlier this Summer, but that $28.3m opening came to a pretty big cast. Still, with the two of them teaming up and the added bonus of it being an R-rated comedy – Bad Teacher could crack $100m any day now, for God’s sake – The Change-Up could still slide into 2nd place with around $25m.
While Cowboys & Aliens and The Smurfs will take a while to break even – if at all – and with Harry Potter and Transformers 3 both breaking the $1b bank, it might be good to see where some of those middle-of-the-road pictures will land. Captain America isn’t lighting up Broadway with the money it’s bringing in overseas. It may match or beat Thor‘s $180.6m domestic from earlier this Summer, but it’ll have a tough time getting to the $447.8m the former Marvel movie brought in worldwide. Horrible Bosses brought in a good return for itself, $96.2m so far against a $35m budget, but films like Crazy, Stupid, Love., Zookeeper, and Winnie the Pooh will all have tough times hitting their budgetary mark in domestic box office. Never mind spilling the coffers over on those investments.
Oh, Bellflower, why are you so hard to define? Actually, that might be the idea behind the film’s marketing. Keep the audience guessing what it’s about, play some hip music, and show a bad-ass car drifting into frame. Our very own Adam Charles was favorable toward the film in his SXSW review. Rather than say what it’s about or even show you what could questionably be a very misleading teaser, just know that the film features a flamethrower. How can you go wrong with a movie with a flamethrower as a focal narrative point? You can’t, that’s how. Bellflower opens in New York and L.A.
Speaking of flamethrowers, here’s what George Carlin had to say about the matter. It’s Carlin, so you know it’s NSFW for language:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 – $10m (-54%)
Friends With Benefits – $4.6m (-49.8%)
Horrible Bosses – $4.2m (-40%)
Transformers: Dark of the Moon – $3m (-48.8%)
Which brings us to $148.9m, down quite a bit from the previous couple of weekends. But what should you expect? Summer is over. The blockbusters have come and gone. The leaves are changing and it’s getting cold outside. Okay, maybe that last statement is loaded down with some serious level BS. It’s not cold outside. It’s still sweltering, so get into the air conditioned theaters, grab yourself a nice cold drink, and let’s make some hits out of these movies! You still hold the power, people. The apes have taken over yet, and even if they had, I’m sure they’d still be confounded by how well Bad Teacher is doing.
We’ll be back on Sunday to go over the weekend numbers.
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