Box Office Weekend Forecast: Apes to War with Spider-Man, The Big Sick Expands
While we're at it, a giant spiders vs. intelligent apes movie would be ace.
As soon as we got one tentpole with Sony’s Spider-Man: Homecoming – which drew life back to summer with an impressive $117 million debut weekend – July is seeing another with Fox’s War for the Planet of the Apes, the conclusion to the acclaimed Apes reboot trilogy. Along with War, Lionsgate’s The Big Sick hopes to repeat its success in its limited release with a nationwide expansion, and Broad Green’s Wish Upon joins the fray. Predictions are below.
War for the Planet of the Apes (Fox)
The follow-up to 2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has promised to be “the end” (or so the marketing claims), which may give it an edge over its predecessor – Dawn opened with a big $72.6 million, riding a wave of goodwill from Rise of the Planet of the Apes and acclaim of its own. War has received similarly fantastic notices from press and fans, sporting a 94% rating from Rotten Tomatoes (average critic score being 8.2/10) and an 8.7/10 from nearly 1,200 ratings on IMDb as of this writing.
Marketing for the threequel has given a sense of a genuine epic, and despite a cultural icon like Spider-Man pulling in audiences alongside it, Apes has a tone decidedly more adult which may allow the two to coexist. Over the next few weeks, however, Apes faces direct competition in Warner Bros.’ Dunkirk and Sony’s The Dark Tower. Dawn had a virtually competition-free run until Disney/Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, but this is an issue that’ll mostly affect its long-term legs.
As for War’s opening weekend, tracking had indicated an opening around $65 million, a relatively conservative number given the positive reviews and the fact both predecessors are well-liked films. We’ve seen similarly conservative tracking for tentpole films (i.e., Logan grossing $88.4m over $70m tracking; Wonder Woman grossing $103.25m over $65m tracking) be eclipsed, partially thanks to universally positive reception, and it would not be surprising for that to be the case here as well.
Prediction: $78 million, #1 rank
The Big Sick (Lionsgate/Amazon)
This acclaimed comedy starring Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, and Ray Romano has thus far brought in $7.18 million from its limited release, and will expand from 326 theatres to an estimated 2,500+, per Box Office Mojo. The film has been embraced by critics and audiences, sporting a 97% score on Rotten Tomatoes (average critic score being 8.4/10) and an 8.0/10 from IMDb ratings. In its last weekend, The Big Sick nabbed a $10,971 per-theater average. Half of that would give it a weekend nearing $14 million, which sounds about right given its buzz, but I’m optimistic and think it can go a little higher.
Prediction: $15 million, #4 rank
Wish Upon (Broad Green)
For the sake of transparency, I initially didn’t know this was a film receiving a nationwide release (or a release at all, mind you), which may be indicative of public consensus as well. Digging into it, Wish Upon calls to mind EuropaCorp’s Shut In from last November, another low-key horror film from a new distributor that arrived in a crowded season and managed a mere $3.6 million debut. Broad Green’s highest opening comes from 2015’s Robert Redford/Nick Nolte comedy A Walk in the Woods with $8.25 million, but that had the benefit of prestigious talent behind it. With a lack of marketing and press screenings available for Wish Upon, this has nearly zero possibility of breaking out despite releasing in 2,210 locations, per Box Office Mojo.
Prediction: $1.9 million, #10 rank
Spider-Man: Homecoming – #2 rank, $53.8 million (-54%), $215m cume
Despicable Me 3 – #3 rank, $17.4 million (-48%), $186m cume
Baby Driver – #5 rank, $8.5 million (-35%), $72m cume
Wonder Woman – #6 rank, $5.7 million (-42%), $380m cume
Cars 3 – #7 rank, $3.8 million (-30%), $141m cume
Transformers: The Last Knight – #8 rank, $3.3 million (-48%), $124m cume
The House – #9 rank, $2.9 million (-39%), $23m cume