‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ Eyes $65 Million Domestic Opening in Early Box Office Tracking

Box Office: 'War for the Planet
20th Century Fox

War for the Planet of the Apes” could see an opening in the $55 million to $65 million range, according to early industry tracking.

That’s in about the same range as the two previous installments in the rebooted franchise. 2011’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” opened to $54.8 million domestic, while 2014’s “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” made $72.6 million during its first weekend. The two movies combined have earned nearly $1.2 billion worldwide. “Dawn” leaned more on the international market, which accounted for over $500 million of its total take. That’s a trend that’s played out in recent years that “War” is likely to follow.

The latest “Apes” movie is entering a summer season that has not been too kind to franchise sequels. Movies including “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Transformers” have had to bank heavily on overseas markets like China to compensate for their big budgets. But, unlike those two movies, “War” has been generally well-reviewed, which could help it build more positive buzz.

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War for the Planet of the Apes trailer

Film Review: ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’

And Fox and Chernin seem confident in their product. The review embargo was lifted more than two weeks before it hits theaters, and the movie has earned a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes so far. “Dawn” and “Rise” also earned general approval, which equated to a 90% and 81% on Rotten Tomatoes, respectively.

Variety‘s awards editor Kris Tapley called on the Academy to “dust off the defunct special achievement award and recognize [Andy] Serkis’ efforts, along with those of the talented artisans behind the scenes who have helped bring his performances to life.”

“Dawn” director Matt Reeves returns to helm the project, based on a script he co-wrote with Mark Bomback, who also co-wrote the previous movie. This time around Caesar (Serkis) and his army of apes are waging a war against the humans, led by the Colonel (Woody Harrelson). Reeves spoke on Variety‘s Playback podcast about feeling that technology available to him has advanced to a new level that helped shape the film. “I wanted the story to be the first really full ape point of view story,” he said. This will likely be Reeves’ final “Apes” movie since he has been signed on to direct Ben Affleck’s standalone Batman movie.

“War for the Planet of the Apes” will open the weekend after Sony’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” which is expected to post huge numbers — tracking suggests it could break $100 million in its first weekend. That’s good news considering the summer box office is down nearly 8% from last year. Boosts from Spidey and Caesar could help put things back on track.

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  1. Bill B. says:

    I so hope they are wrong about Spiderman and that it fails spectacularly so they stop making this over and over and over again.

  2. Mark says:

    The animation crew who brought Ceasar and the rest of the apes to life did an amazing job. One of the best animated films of the year!

  3. macd says:

    Considering how franchise movies have been under-performing this summer, this latest unnecessary “Apes” episode should be lucky if it grosses a $40 million opening weekend.

    • RX says:

      Ok, everyone. No need to bother with this one. “Macd” has called it, and he obviously knows what he’s talking about in internet comment sections.

  4. Rudy Mario says:

    No originality. Audiences shold reject these movies by sending a Lider message with less than 10m opening weekend.

    • Rudy Mario says:

      I agree with comments posted here on both sides of the arguement. I have seen the various versions and don’t ask me the titles but 2 were ok to good. If you go by the trailer of the new one, it looks so similar to the last outing, hence my comment. Maybe the makers will surprise us but nobody can deny that sequels, reboots and superheros in anguish mode is not doing great on the basis of boxoffice figures, specifically donestic. I have no quarrel if these movies get green lighted even though they may not be my cup of tea because they make tons of money from international markets. End of the day this is a business.

    • There’s a reason these films have been so well reviewed and embraced by audiences. Originality is more than just a thing with a title you haven’t heard of before.

      More to the point 100 quality , “unoriginal” films, beats 200 mediocre “original” ones.

      • Rex the Wonder Dog says:

        I’d rather have three T-bone steaks in a row than fish head soup, fried owl gizzards, and rabbit kidney pie.

    • This is a good, apparently, sequel to two good and very well liked previous films. The likes of Pirates, Alien and transformers are poor sequels to previous instalments that weren’t, massively, beloved by fans either. Word off mouth spread and that was that.

      As we have seen with Guardians of The Galaxy and, inn a slightly different manner as it wasn’t a straight up sequel, are well reviewed and audience beloved films doing just fine either either as sequels to good films (GotG) or sequels to divisive films, but with great reviews / word of mouth(WW).

    • jedi77 says:

      Actually, these movies have been very original.
      They are probably some of the most original filmmaking out there.

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