The relaunch or prequel or whatever you'd like to call it to the 43 year old Planet of the Apes franchise was buoyed by... well, we're not sure what it was buoyed by exactly. The film is unexpectly good but given that neither reviews nor "quality" generally factor in to first weekend grosses, it must be the familiar brand appeal. Perhaps enough time has passed since Tim Burton's awful remake that people were interested again? Expect the prequel to hold really well next weekend. Second weekends are when quality or perceptions thereof are much more influential. Word of Mouth, you know. I'll demonstrate: Go see it!
box office top ten (actual grosses)
01 RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES new $54.8
02 THE SMURFS $20.7 (cum $75.9)
03 COWBOYS AND ALIENS $15.7 (cum $67.3)
04 THE CHANGE-UP new $13.5
05 CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER [review] $13 (cumulative $143.2)
06 HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART TWO [review] $12.4 (cum $343)
07 CRAZY STUPID LOVE [your take] $12 (cum $42.1)
08 FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS $4.6 (cum $48.5)
09 HORRIBLE BOSSES $4.5 (cum $105.1)
10 TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON $3 (cum $344.2)
Discussables: The Smurfs held fairly well reminding us once again that parents just don't read reviews and leave it up to the kids. That 56% drop for Cowboys & Aliens, though not uncommon for a film's second week, is not good news for a film that was supposed to be a very big deal this summer. The huge budget, nearly double the size of say Planet of the Ape's is more weight on its shoulders. (Here's some theorizing on what went wrong.) Crazy Stupid Love had the best legs of the top ten, barely taking a hit with only a 35% drop. In other words: people like the film. Ryan Reynolds continues to have a lackluster summer. Green Lantern underperformed and The Change-Up wasn't really packing them in either on opening weekend. That said, those two openings are still better than what he usually gets out of the gate, when it's his name as the principal draw. Not that he's actually been the principle player all that often. Time for a reteaming with Sandra Bullock, right?
Among this week's limited release big market happenings transgendered drama Gun Hill Road had the fullest houses with the reportedly epically misogynistic Bellflower just behind. Miranda July's The Future and Dominic Cooper objectification-fest The Devil's Double both added several theaters to their count. Are they open near you? I don't know why I haven't seen them yet but I keep falling further and further behind. Must spend entire day in theater soon.
What did you see this weekend?