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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Primate Klady

Friday Est 651w 2017-07-15 at 8.25.00 AM

Déjà monkey.

War for the Planet of the Apes is a perfect example of a pretty new classic… the franchise that does well enough at home to keep going, but grows internationally to make it worth continuing. This is, thankfully, the well-reviewed version of this phenomenon. I am glad we have these films and Matt Reeves has delivered another strong episode, albeit one in so small a world space that it doesn’t feel like a wrap-up to the series at all.

The first two films in the new series did $177m and $209m respectively domestically. (If you are whining about this opening, you are a box office ignoramus.) The second of the two, Dawn, did $502 million internationally, compared to $301m for Rise. If the franchise grow internationally again, expect not only a #4, but a #5.

If they continue, it appears that this film is meant to be the end of the Caesar era. If there is a #4, I would expect it to push a generation into the future, to just before the Charlton Heston version, when the people who are left have been turned into what apes once were. But is Caesar himself the Robert Downey, Jr. Iron Man of this series? These three films have been unique in their willingness to kill off cast and move along without worrying about giving the audience familiar humans in multiple films. Would the next be an entirely new start? Is that the answer to IP in 2017?

Not a definitive day for Spider-Man: Homecoming. It’s running ahead of Wonder Woman. Weekdays were strong. But it is off the number for the second Friday. The weekend will tell more. $400m+ worldwide is for sure this weekend, but $450m is possible.

Baby Driver is still revving its engines, heading past $70 million domestic this weekend, already Edgar Wright’s biggest film worldwide.

The Big Sick goes wide – 2597 screens – and does well. It is significant that Lionsgate (and Amazon Studios) are taking a very different tack than last year with Best Picture nominees Hell or High Water or Hacksaw Ridge or Manchester by the Sea (Amazon via Roadside). Hacksaw started wide and neither Hell or Manchester ever got to a screen count like the 2597 of Sick this weekend.

The closest thing comp in the last couple of years is St Vincent, a couple years ago, with Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy. They went wide in the third weekend, while this is Sick‘s fifty. They had a $7.7m weekend, which Sick won’t likely reach this weekend, but close. But they held well and had seven $1m weekends before starting to fall off with over $40 million in the bank. $40 million would be a big number for a Kumail Nanjiani dramedy.

Take a look a Box Office Mojo’s respect for Kumail’s box office power…
Screen Shot 2017-07-15 at 9.23.19 AM

You can’t fault Lionsgate and Amazon for hitting the gas here. The ambition to get well past $20 million is honorable and word-of-mouth suggests that passing $30 million is not a pipe dream. And $40 million would not be a miracle… just magical.

Wish Upon is a niche release with a even nichier opening.

Lady Macbeth is the arthouse hero of the weekend, with over $11k per screen for the 3-day.

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46 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Primate Klady”

  1. EtGuild2 says:

    Not an encouraging box office weekend overall. Probably the last weekend year over year win of the summer, and only by a whisker.

    I blame WAR’s performance on the trailers looking too similar to DAWN. I mean it could be the same movie. But expect the silly “sky is falling” narrative to kick into overdrive soon.

  2. Movieman says:

    Funny/ironic how “Wish Upon” is considered a bust while “Big Sick” (which did pretty much identical Friday biz) is described as having a “healthy expansion.”
    Of course, “Sick” is in it for the long haul–unlike “Wish” which will be forgotten by Monday morning.

    Fearless July Oscar predix:
    At minimum, “Sick” will be nominated for Best Picture, Original Screenplay and Supporting Actress (Holly Hunter).

  3. Geoff says:

    Saw Apes on Horses 3 yesterday and thought it was very good but I can see where the marketing issues were: it’s a dour fucking movie and I think Fox did their best to sell the hell out of it with the (somewhat misleading) war and destruction angle but at the end of the day, they still had to sell a grim movie that makes even Logan look cheerful by comparison.

    And I’m guessing their marketing department was probably feeling emboldened by how well they launched Logan….but that movie still had some humor to sell and they SOLD it with probably the best teaser trailer of any film in recent years – I mean WOW, the operatic Western vibe with Johnny Cash’ Hurt playing over it – just a fantastic trailer and you need a very strong angle like that to sell a movie like this and they just never had the goods to do that with an aging ape taking on shaved head psycho Woody Harrelson.

    But apparently they spent less on this one and the overseas grosses will probably climb again so ending up over $600 million WW on a $150 million budget will make it as profitable as any recent stand-alone Marvel movie (Fox or Marvel Studios).

    And speaking of my favorite dream factory, Marvel Studios….I don’t care how it’s spun but that’s a shitty-ass drop for Peter Parker’s Day Off. I thought the larger Saturday drop last week was just kind of a fluke considering it had a bigger Thursday night preview than the average MCU film but alas this film is probably going to fade as quickly as TASM2 – $300 million domestic and probably $850 million WW is still a solid jump from the last two movies but KIND of a bit of a let-down considering that this one featured Iron Man.

    Ethan you can go and on about how “unsophisticated” audiences are to these properties and how that was never a factor but please….they sold Iron Man, Iron Man, and Iron Man HEAVILY with this thing – the posters, the trailers, the special NBA spots with him and Jon Favreau – this was marketed as the Iron Man and Spider-Man show no matter how you paint it.

    But once again, the studio spent less this time around – significantly less than TASM2 to the tune of at least $50 million – so kudos to Pascal and Feige for playing nice to deliver a more profitable movie this time around. I’m seeing a trend here wait….some studios are being SMART and spending LESS on aging IP’s?? 🙂

  4. Bulldog68 says:

    And just like that the race for summer top dog is over, given this drop for Spider-Man. Wonder Woman for the win.

  5. EtGuild2 says:

    What on earth are you going on about Geoff?

    No idea what you mean on sophistication. If anyone thinks this thing was going to do much over $300 million, they’re nuts. The MCU has two of the three biggest movies of the summer. I think that’s exactly what people thought, just switch out WW for DM3.

  6. Triple Option says:

    I came outta Apes thinking what the hell did I just watch. I think you’re right Geoff, it’s gotta be tough on the mktg dept, it stops being the movie I thought was I was being sold fairly early on. There’s also another tonal change 2/3rds in. Decent enough overall but not what I was expecting.

  7. Stella Boy says:

    Late to the party and not trying to be contrarian or no fun but I hated Baby Driver. I couldn’t stand Baby. Found him obnoxious and irritating. Love story is unconvincing and paper thin. Writing is weak with some cringe worthy dialogue. Villains par for the course. Some good action scenes and solid supporting cast but that’s it. Don’t get the orgasmic response at all. My vote for most overrated of the year.

    How does war compare to dawn? I like but didn’t love dawn. Just watched it the other night for first time in case I get time to see war and people think it’s worth it. Feel burned by baby driver.

  8. EtGuild2 says:

    @Stella, disagreement is good! Even though it’s high on my list this year, I can see how you see that with Elgort, the love story, and parts of the writing. The cinematography, production design and soundtrack I loved so much though that I was in heaven from that alone.

    On the villains, I thought Hamm was definitely wasted, but this is the first time maybe ever that I really enjoyed a Jamie Foxx performance. I thought he was fantastic.

  9. Stella Boy says:

    Foxx is great but character is not. He’s just Bernthal. Plays same guy. And what is with Hamm becoming unstoppable killing machine in last 20 minutes? So stupid. Took me right out of movie.

  10. Sideshow Bill says:

    Loved Baby Driver but I can see it from the other side. It’s arch and mannered, and probably underwritten in spots. But i got on it’s wavelength right from the start. It’s not for everybody but sometimes that’s the best kind of movie. Scott Pilgrim was divisive, too.

    Disappointing drop for Spider-Man, which I absolutely loved, which surprised me. But it’ll still do fine. I saw it with a really great audience that was very into it. It was a fun time.

    Apes this week. Then I gotta choose between Dunkirk and Valarian.

  11. Geoff says:

    I don’t know Ethan – I think when you add Iron Man to the mix and have RDJ dominating the junkets and TV spots, the expectation becomes $400 million domestic. ‘Civil War did that, Iron Man 3 did that…in fact no film with Iron Man/Tony Stark HASN’T done that much domestically since Iron Man 2 in 2010. Spiderman plus Iron Man ON PAPER should probably gross $400 million domestic, $ 1 billion worldwide…and to be fair, you could have also said the same thing about Batman plus Superman.

    Man I’m on the fence about how effective Baby Driver was – I enjoyed it for the most part and of course, the soundtrack is killer! I actually saw Jon Spencer Blues Explosion in concert years ago….as an opening act…and tried to get into them when I was more of a music hipster but it was never to be. But I don’t remember a song as catchy as Bellbottoms either….

    But back to Baby Driver, I think it probably has the same issue as pretty much every other Edgar Wright movie for me with the possible exception of The World’s End: it delivers the goods but WAY too many of them, he never knows when to quit….so instead of three strong acts, he delivers four solid acts and I find myself just exhausted by the end. And it’s NOT the same exact issue I’ve seen with the usual suspects who get accused of this like Apatow and Nolan – their weaker films aren’t structured as well and just come off as overstuffed with scenes and/or beats that go on for too long. Wright has narrative focus DOWN but his films just seem to peak too early – even Shaun of the Dead seemed to go on way too long after the climax of having his mother become a zombie.


    Yeah he overuses the Jon Hamm character – he’s given a nice arc but why the hell does he become a Terminator in the finale of the film?? That parking garage face-off is very well done but just completely unnecessary – the movie is better off resolving itself in the diner earlier on.

  12. Geoff says:

    Yeah Stella I was writing my issues with the Jon Hamm character in Baby Driver and you beat me to it. 🙂 Completely bizarre what they do with him towards the end of that movie.

  13. Bulldog68 says:

    The reason why Dave keeps ignoring the legs of WW week after week is because it’s made double his under $200m prediction. I kid, I kid.

  14. Bulldog68 says:

    Holy crack on a cracker. Dave’s Worldwide predictions had me going to Mojo. Despite all the numerous essays on the explosion of the worldwide box office, here we sit in mid July of 2017, and with the expected biggest blockbusters out of the way, this is looking like the first summer since 2009 that we won’t have a billion dollar movie, and you have to go back to 2005, to find a summer without a $900m movie. How’d you like dem apples

  15. Stella's Boy says:

    Baby Driver SPOILERS

    It is so bizarre Geoff.

    He somehow survives a shootout with the Atlanta police department and then survives the diner and then survives the parking garage (until he finally doesn’t). He’s straight out of a slasher movie. Like I said it just took me right out of the movie. There were about four “oh come on’s” from me in those last 20 minutes. I might be too nitpicky but it (obviously) bothered me. And as you said it just doesn’t end. I thought it was over three or four times before it finally ended for real. Feels really long.

  16. EtGuild2 says:

    @Geoff, you were expecting HOMECOMING as the top movie of the summer? That’s on you (I had GOTG2 or DM3)…’s just a unique view. To expect Sony to have its near biggest hit at its nadir, carried by Disney or not, just seems off to me, but whatever.

    I’m not sure why people expect any $1 billion summer grosser in this currency climate. There’s a reason why summer movies aren’t hitting that number for the first time this decade. On top of that, no idea why DP thinks May brings a summer advantage. Other than the AVENGERS effect in 2012-2013, May movies never win the summer.

    Nice writeup on BABY DRIVER Geoff, even if I think its positives outweigh it.

  17. EtGuild2 says:

    Bulldog, I didn’t read your post before I posted. Nice mind-sync

  18. palmtree says:

    Bulldog, bullseye.

  19. jspartisan says:

    Let’s just put it out there: motherfuckers want something new this Summer, and they didn’t get it. You get the same Apes movie for a second time, you get ANOTHER SPIDEY REBOOT (even if it’s good), and countless other THIRD movies. We got some truly special shit within a month of each other. After that, it’s been a fucking slog. Also… again… FALL IS LOOKING FUCKING AWESOME AS HELL! Here’s to it getting cooler, and a better slate of movies opening.

    ETA: The dollar is so strong, that technically they are getting more a return domestically than they have in years, so it evens out.

  20. Pete B says:

    I had a good week of movie-going as I saw War for the Planet of the Apes on Wednesday, and last night had a double bill at the drive-in of Spider-man: Homecoming and Baby Driver. Not a bad one in the bunch. Kinda surprised that the one I was the least interested in, Spidey, turned out to be the most enjoyable flick I’ve seen all summer.

    As for Jon Hamm’s character change at the end of Baby Driver, he did see his wife – who he’d been smooching on the rest of the movie – get blown away. That would make anyone a little Terminatorish.

  21. Stella's Boy says:


    That hardly justifies everything he escapes from and somehow survives Pete. One second he’s in a shootout during broad daylight with dozens of cops, all on his own, and then suddenly he’s in one piece at the diner. It’s ridiculous.

  22. Bulldog68 says:

    Not sure you want to mind sync with me EtGuild. There’s usually some fucked up shit rattling around between these ears.

  23. Bulldog68 says:

    WTF happened to my smiiley emoji? 🙂

  24. EtGuild2 says:

    “ETA: The dollar is so strong, that technically they are getting more a return domestically than they have in years, so it evens out.”

    That isn’t how it works sadly, because the dollars you’re spending would have to have a different value than the dollars you’re making. Aka youre still making the movies with the same money. It COULD account for why a few of the smarter studios have lower-budgeted tentpoles thouh. Lower intl costs.

  25. Sideshow Bill says:

    Any Hot Blog regulars at Fantasia? Tips on where I can get more coverage other than Ebert’s site? The Villainess sounds freaking great.

  26. jspartisan says:

    Ethan, they do have a different value, because the dollar has become stronger than even this time last year. They are spending 2016/15 dollars to make movies, but are getting 2017 dollars back in returns. If that makes any sense.

  27. David Poland says:

    Really? We’re whining and rationalizing because there are only going to be 3 billion dollar worldwide movies this year?

    Last year, we had 6 $800 million worldwide grossers by the end of the summer. This year, could be 4 or 5 or 6. Sky is falling.

    It’s not the economy. It’s the movies. But some of the same things that have led to smaller numbers for some of this year’s movies will lead to hits next year (or this fall). Gotta stay macro.

  28. David Poland says:

    Ethan – 7 of the past 10 years, the first movie of May has been #1 or #2 domestic. You see no advantage there? Great.

  29. EtGuild2 says:

    DP, you said a few weeks ago that GOTG2 would win the summer per the usual first weekend in May opening. The film opening there has won the summer twice in the past 10 years. If you think 20% is a trend in a 4 month summer, I have no idea what to tell you my friend.

    And no…a May movie has finished in the Top Two domestic thrice* (updated) in the past 10 years. Where on earth are you getting your figures?

  30. EtGuild2 says:

    “Really? We’re whining and rationalizing because there are only going to be 3 billion dollar worldwide movies this year?”

    Pointing out that we have the lowest grossing top summer grosser in 12 years isn’t “whining.”

    Are you okay Hannity? This is a -5% box office year potentially. I’m going to enjoy you running around like a madman pretending all is normal for the next 3 months while everyone else does the extreme opposite. Moderation is key.

  31. EtGuild2 says:

    “Ethan, they do have a different value, because the dollar has become stronger than even this time last year. They are spending 2016/15 dollars to make movies, but are getting 2017 dollars back in returns”

    JS, the dollar is only down about 2% since last August so no, this doesn’t make sense. I get what you’re saying, but there’s a reason studios are spinning out “current exchange rate” figures every weekend. It’s because their movies are making far less money, but could be viable if there’s a 20% swing back.

  32. palmtree says:

    Interesting stat about the first May weekend slot. It has become in the last 10 years the Marvel slot. And they’ve pretty consistently ended up being in the top two of the summer.

    2008 – Iron Man (#1)
    2009 – X-men Origins: Wolverine (missed the top 2)
    2010 – Iron Man 2 (#2)
    2011 – Thor (missed the top 2)
    2012 – The Avengers (#1)
    2013 – Iron Man 3 (#1)
    2014 – The Amazing Spiderman 2 (missed the top 2)
    2015 – Avengers 2 (#1)
    2016 – Captain American: Civil War (#1)
    2017 – Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (#2)

  33. jspartisan says:

    Damn, Ethan. I flipped it all around. Son of a bitchin’ money markets!

  34. EtGuild2 says:

    Ah, I get what he’s saying palmtree (also a little movie called Jurrasic World won summer 2015 and Finding Dory won last year). DP seems to have misread me and then I misread him. Here’s his quote:

    “As far as the summer goes, Guardians wins by way of the head start that being the summer launch movie gives a film.”

    Maybe I’m being too critical, but IRON MAN 3 aside (Avengers would have won 2012 if you’d opened it on Labor Day), you don’t win summer by virtue of a May “head start”. Period.

  35. Spassky says:

    So… caeser dies?

  36. leahnz says:

    the sheer maleness of the players in WftPotA is disturbing, par for the course in ‘dunkirk’, super off-putting in a society of primates wherein there’s no excuse for such nonsense, troubling storytelling on a few fronts (and all the more egregious given the fact that konoval – a woman – plays ‘Maurice’. maybe just, you know, ‘maurine’. oh wait the non-human female primates must have the same icky go-sit-in-the-house cooties as the human ones, who knew)
    seriously, do these dudes think it’s going to be an all-sausage dangling apocalypse with the ‘females’ meek and in-their-place on the side lines? haha yeah right

  37. Pete B says:

    To paraphrase what Honest Trailers asked in their review of “Dawn”, just where are the ‘sausages’ on all these apes anyhow? Guess that would have warranted an R rating like Doctor Manhattan in Watchmen.

    Actually Leah, the lack of female leadership could show that for all their smarts, the apes are still pretty primitive.

  38. Pete B says:

    This is the last Ape movie for Andy Serkis, so take from that what you will.

  39. Dr Wally Rises says:

    At this point I’d expect JL to make it to a billion. Reasons?

    1. If WB are smart, they’ll put the emphasis on WW. A quick turnaround Wonder Woman sequel rather than a follow up to the much criticised BvS.

    2. Thanksgiving seems oddly clear of animation and family fare. It’s bizarre to see that Jumanji is being sent out to ritual slaughter the week after Star Wars, when it might have stood a better chance at Thanksgiving. As it stands, the only competition for the family dollar around that time is Daddy’s Home 2. Pfft.

  40. Geoff says:

    “@Geoff, you were expecting HOMECOMING as the top movie of the summer? That’s on you (I had GOTG2 or DM3)…’s just a unique view. To expect Sony to have its near biggest hit at its nadir, carried by Disney or not, just seems off to me, but whatever.”

    Ethan you make a good point – Sony has had such a shitty streak of NOT successfully opening summer tentpoles the past few years, $400 million domestic was probably never in the cards. And look at the numbers ADJUSTED for inflation, ‘Homecoming looks like it could easily be the most profitable Spider-Man movie that Sony has ever put out – the original Spider-Man cost about $140 million…..15 years ago and this cost about $180 million in today’s dollars after they went WAY too high spending at least $230 million on the two Amazing Spider-Man movies. So you’re looking at a bigger worldwide gross on a more reasonable budget this time around….and that’s a win for Sony no matter how you spin it.

    As for Justice League, I have no clue what to expect – $1 billion WW looks possible but at the end of the day, this is still a Zack Snyder movie and I have said many times he just does not seem to have it in him to deliver a mass audience four-quadrant hit. Wonder Woman breaking out certainly helps and Whedon stepping in to finish it…I THINK helps? If it’s the Whedon of the first Avengers, then yes but if it’s the Whedon of ‘Ultron who let himself get stretched WAY too thin –
    with Easter eggs and character intros and romantic side plots, etc. – then JL could end up feeling like as much of a gloppy mess as Batman V Superman did.

    And Thanksgiving still has Coco from Disney which you know they’re going to promote the shit out of – there’s usually room in the marketplace though for one big animated film and one big film for the rest at that time of year.

  41. jspartisan says:

    Again, it’s not like Homecoming is a fucking bomb, and won’t end up making good money. I guess, it’s just foolish of us to assume, that a third reboot in 15 year isn’t going to make some people skittish. Yes. Yes, Geoff. MSCU. Guess what? There are some people, almost ten years in, that still don’t get it. Don’t get that those Spidey movies, aren’t this Spidey movie, and it’s whatever. We still have a solid ass Spider-man, who is getting another four movies. IF ANYTHING, this should make Sony realize, that they have burnt the fucking Spider-man franchise, and those shit movies they want to make. Aren’t going to help. They will only hurt.

    Oh yeah: Attack the Block has given us a beloved Star Wars character, and the 13th Doctor. What the fuck is Joe Cornish doing with his life?

  42. Warren says:

    The good thing about Homecoming not making $1 billion worldwide is that it might put the brakes on those ill-advised spinoffs that Sony wants to make.

  43. Sideshow Bill says:

    I think JS is right about people being “skittish” over Spider-Man: Homecoming. I know I was. I almost skipped it. SO glad i didn’t because I loved the hell out it. I convinced a few people at work to see it who were also on the fence. Like everyone has said it’s doing fine but word of mouth and it’s post-theatrical will be great. The sequel should see growth once people realize this good stuff and not in the same league as the AMS movies.

  44. EtGuild2 says:

    Did yall see Mark Ruffalo badmouthing Universal over the inability to make a standalone Hulk movie? Rare to see an actor get so explicit, especially with a company that distributed a movie of his that arguably turned him into a respected actor (The Kids Are Alright).

  45. jspartisan says:

    Uh no, Ethan. You got that wrong :P. Ruffalo became a respected actor, with You Can Count on Me. The Kids are Alright, is just interloper nonsense :D! Universal, are lucky to have Vin Diesel, and the Chinese people who love him. They are dumb, and their insistence on not letting the Marvel Studios make a HULK movie? DUMB!

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
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“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon