'War for the Planet of the Apes' sets new movie standard

Andy Serkis

Like its predecessors, War for the Planet of the Apes should prove to be a big hit overseas. That film opened with weekend sales of $72.6 million in North America, according to Box Office Mojo. The Sony-Marvel superhero pic is looking at a second outing just shy of $50 million.

Taking the second spot was Spider-Man: Homecoming, starring Tom Holland, Zendaya, Michael Keaton, and Robert Downey Jr. Not only did the hype die down a bit following the opening weekend rush, Apes' premiere stole some business as well. Rottentomatoes.com, which distills critics' reviews into a single score, gave the film a 94 percent positive rating. Off 33%, the Edgar Wright sleeper hit has scored a great $73 million so far as it heads to at least $100 million by the end of its run.

In third is Despicable Me 3, which grossed $18.9 million. The local total there has climbed to $42.2 million.

The #4 film is Baby Driver.

Rounding out the top five were Baby Driver and The Big Sick, grossing $8.8 million and $7.7 million, respectively. With it coming to additional theaters, interested moviegoers supported it, as it served as an appealing counter-programming option from the traditional blockbuster fare.

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The top ten films grossed an estimated $157.2M which was up 4% from previous year when The Secret Life of Pets stayed at number one with $50.8M; but down 12% from 2015 when Ant-Man debuted in the top spot with $57.2M.

Wonder Woman continued to hang in strong, down just 30% to $6.9 million. Much ado has been made about the film's use of updated technology that enlivens Andy Serkis' lead ape.

By Monday, it's expected to cross US$381 million domestically, which would put it past Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows Part 2 to become the third highest Warner Bros. movie ever.

And Wonder Woman is on course to overtake Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as the summer's highest grossing film at six. The box office news on Thursday felt very good - War earned a strong $5 million from previews, potentially setting the table for a big weekend. In 2014, ("Dawn of The Planet of the Apes") a unsafe flu makes apes more intelligent but kills off humans. Stateside, interest is low and will stay that way. Even with as $175 million budget, this will make a minor profit. That raises the domestic total to $140 million. The fifth film in the franchise was down 56% to $2.8 million. The sequel is now up to $124.8 million Stateside.

The House is also almost gone, down 62% to $1.8 million. The comedy raised its domestic total to $23.1 million.

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