July 12, 2014

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: It’s “Dawn” of the Box Office of the Apes


Early numbers at Deadline and elsewhere make DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (20th) the runaway winner at the Friday box office with $26-27M.  That could give it a weekend as high as $70M, at the high end of expectations and breezing past Rise of the Planet of the Apes and its $54.6M opening. Dawn isn’t starting as big as the summer’s mega-franchises, but it has two advantages going forward:  word of mouth that should be very strong, given the nearly unanimous rave reviews, and a clear path through the rest of July, with no major openings on the horizon until Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1.  Those factors could bring it to very high numbers by the time it’s done.

TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION (Paramount), on the other hand, is taking the express elevator down.  It reportedly fell another 57% from last Friday to $4.5M, for a potential $15M weekend.  Although it’ll pass $200M on Saturday, it now seems unlikely to get to the $257-258M level of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The LEGO Movie at the top of 2014–it’s even possible that Transformers won’t surpass the $230M+ of X-Men: Days of Future Past and Maleficent to lead the summer, although it can probably get there.  In any case, this will be by far the least successful entry in the franchise here in the US, and even its runaway success in China may not bring it to the worldwide $1B mark.

TAMMY (Warners) is the only other movie making real money this weekend, down 45% from last Friday to $3.8M, on its way to a $12M weekend and a $75-80M US total.  After that, 22 JUMP STREET (Columbia/Sony), HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 (DreamWorks Animation/20th), and EARTH TO ECHO (Relativity) are all headed for $5.5-6M weekends, with DELIVER US FROM EVIL (Screen Gems/Sony) a notch lower at $4.5M.

BEGIN AGAIN (Weinstein) had a mediocre expansion to 939 theatres, aiming at a $3K per-theatre average for the weekend.  SNOWPIERCER (Weinstein/Radius) also expanded, to 356 theatres (it’s also on VOD), with an even weaker $1700 per-theatre average in sight.

BOYHOOD (IFC) is riding its ecstatic reviews to a superb $60K per-theatre average at 5 NY/LA theatres, and although that number is boosted by some cast and filmmaker Q&As, the film is so unique and remarkable (it was shot over a period of 12 years, as the young protagonist aged) that it’s well-positioned to become the year’s first real arthouse hit since The Grand Budapest Hotel.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."