War for the Planet of the Apes had a terrific launch in China over the weekend. The acclaimed, but somewhat underperforming sci-fi sequel snagged $62 million in its first three days, which singlehandedly took the $150m Fox release to $433m worldwide. That’s still far from the $710m worldwide gross of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, but it’s a face-saving debut and, if it doesn’t collapse next weekend, it should help push the film past the $481m (in 2D and back in 2011) cume of Rise of the Planet of the Apes. It’s a great start for a good movie in a key market, so we’ll see how that plays out.
In other overseas news, Universal/Comcast Corp. has been slowly releasing Tom Cruise’s American Made overseas in advance of its Sept. 29 domestic debut. The R-rated, true-life dramedy about a guy who runs drugs for the CIA has earned $48.8m in 53 territories after a $12m overseas haul this weekend. I don’t have the budget for this one, but I’m guessing it was cheaper than The Mummy. And since it’s essentially Cruise’s first non-franchise/sci-fi action release in a generation, I sure as hell hope it continues to flourish.
In holdover news that isn’t about It, Home Again earned $5.34 million (-38%) second weekend and $17.135m ten-day total. These aren’t great numbers for the Reese Witherspoon romantic comedy, but the Open Road release only cost $15m and a few more holds like that could put it in the “respectable” category. I hope so, as I think it’s a slightly underrated movie.Speaking of strong holds, The Hitman’s Bodyguard earned another $3.55 million (-26%) in its fifth weekend for a $70.357m domestic total. Sans inflation, the film is Samuel L. Jackson’s biggest outright starring vehicle in North America (past the $70m gross of Shaft back in 2000 and not counting the many films were he played a co-star and/or the villain). This is a huge win for Ryan Reynolds, Sam Jackson, Lionsgate and Millennium, especially if cashes in overseas and/or China as expected.
Warner Bros./Time Warner Inc. and New Line Cinema aren’t resting on their It laurels, as Annabelle: Creation earned $2.6 million (-35%) in its sixth weekend for a $99.9 domestic total. Annabelle tried to ask Pennywise for a $100k grant to get it over the $100m mark, but the clown said “No.” The film has earned $291m worldwide, which is a remarkable achievement for the $15m prequel-to-the-prequel to The Conjuring. Your move, Happy Death Day.
Wind River earned $2.535 million (-18%) seventh weekend and $29m domestic total. The Weinstein Company release has outgrossed Hell or High Water even before it makes a play for any Oscar love. It’s also Weinstein’s second-biggest non-Tarantino grosser (aside from the Oscar-nominated Lion) since Southpaw two years ago. So yeah, the Jeremy Renner/Elizabeth Olsen thriller is a genuine sleeper hit.
Weinstein’s Leap earned $2.117 million (-13%) weekend and $18.66m 24-day total. That’s small potatoes, even if the $30m animated ballet drama has earned over $100m worldwide anyway. So I’m assuming money was made by most/all of the fourteen listed production companies for this French/Canadian coproduction which was tilted Ballerina overseas but changed to Leap! in North America for the same reason Rapunzel became Tangled.
Sony’s Spider-Man: Homecoming is taking a dive in China ($15 million, or -78)%, but it’s still a huge hit around the world. The $175 million superhero reboot earned$1.875m (-7%) in its 11th weekend for a $330.26m domestic cume. Yeah, this one is getting past Guardians of the Galaxy ($333m) in North America, even if a big drop in China won’t stop it from passing the $863m Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 worldwide total. It currently has $861.2m worldwide.
Finally, Chris Nolan’s Dunkirk crossed $500 million worldwide a few days ago, making it (not adjusted for inflation) the biggest-grossing World War II movie ever globally. The $100m drama, which is almost sure to be a major Oscar contender, earned $1.305m (-30%) in its ninth weekend for a $185.1m domestic and $509m worldwide total. It’ll need Oscar love to get past $200m. Either way, it’s a huge hit and another feather in WB’s very crowded 2017 cap.
Next weekend sees the releases of Kingsman: The Golden Circle, The LEGO Ninjago Movie and Unfriended.