Sunday, August 7, 2011

Weekend Box Office: 'Apes' Conquers Box Office Competition

On Saturday, The Smoking Nun took a look at potential box office hits remaining this summer, wondering how riveting Devil's Double, starring Dominic Cooper, might fare. We also proposed that Rise of the Planet of the Apes, starring James Franco and John Lithgow, looked "potentially entertaining."

It turns out that Franco—with lead Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings), John Lithgow and Frida Pinto—aped the competition, as Planet opened with $54 million—$20 million more than its weekend forecast. Reviews deemed the flick "smart," while CinemaScore audiences gave it a rare A- score. At a cost of $93 million, the film also added $23.4 million in 25 overseas markets, for a total worldwide take of $77.4 million.

The Smurfs logged a second week at No. 2, as parents tried to keep their little rugrats quiet for a couple hours; while sci-fi Western Cowboys & Aliens, with Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford (zzzz), ranked No. 3, also in its second week. Dreadfully cliched Ryan Reynolds/Jason Bateman comedy The Change-Up, opened at No. 4. And at No. 5 is Chris Evans' Captain America: The First Avenger, whose worldwide take is now a robust $143 million, after three weeks release.

And Devil's Double? While 88% of viewers gave it an A rating, the indie film didn't stand a chance, opening at a mere 33 theaters nationwide, compared with Apes' 3,648 venues. Looks like it's considered an "art film," at least for the time being. It's not even showing at my local 12-screen bijou. Sigh...