‘Apes’ Blow It Up Big but Summer Box Office Damned and Dirty
Apes rule. My review.
The most successful “Planet of the Apes” movie at the domestic box office (adjusted and unadjusted) is Tim Burton’s godawful remake starring a sleepwalking Mark Wahlberg, which grossed $180 million in 2001. Isn’t that depressing? Well, yes and no. The worst was first but at least the studio, Fox, didn’t confuse attendance with satisfaction and make a sequel. It probably helped that Burton supposedly said he’d “rather jump out a window” than make another “Apes” movie.
Either way, it looks like we’re going to have a new “Apes” champ now.
“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” opened this weekend with $73 million. (Cf., $54 million open for “Rise of ...”) It's the fifth movie to open between $70 and $100 million this summer but none have exactly stormed the barricades afterwards. Unless “Apes” has legs, or “Guardians of the Galaxy” surprises, this will be the first Hollywood summer without a $300 million movie since 2001.
Meanwhile, “Transformers 4,” in its third weekend, was a distant second with $16 million, for a domestic total of $209 million. Is this clinking clanking clattering collection of caliginous junk on its last legs? No, sadly. The movie is way off its usual domestic totals (“2” had grossed > $300 million by this point), but worldwide it’s kicking butt. It’s the biggest hit ever in China and the biggest hit worldwide in 2014 with $752 million—ahead of “X-Men” ($727) and “Captain America” ($712).
“22 Jump Street” finished fourth ($6.7) and has a domestic total of $171 million—fantastic for a comedy. “Maleficent” finished eighth ($4.1) and has a domestic total of $221 million, and a world mark of $668 million. It’s the biggest hit, both domestically and internationally, of Angelina Jolie’s career.
Better news? Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood,” in miniscule release (five theaters), grossed $359K or $71.8 K a theater. (Cf. $18.4K for “Apes.”) It’s set for a wider release next weekend. Watch for it. It’s one of the year’s best movies.
The weekend totals.