8.5-7.2011: Weekend Box Office – The $

Caesar and the apes have outsmarted us, their simian kin, and taken our world and turned it into their planet along with the weekend box office in Rupert Wyatt’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes.  The origin story of the sci-fi series rose to the top followed by last weekend’s #2 and #1 of Cowboys & Aliens and The Smurfs ($20.702 million).  The two movies swapped spots with the wild westerners hopping over the little blue beings to fall two spots while The Smurfs continued on at #2.  The Change-Up ($13.531 million), the R-rated male version of Freaky Friday with Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds in their second movie of the summer, debuted at #4.  Captain America: The First Avenger pulled a Cowboys & Aliens by falling two spots to cap off the top five.

The $93 million prequel #1 Rise of the Planet of the Apes may not resemble any of its predecessors, including 2001’s Planet of the Apes, but was a success with critics, fans and the box office.  The humans and the apes fought to bring in $54.806 million at 3,648 theaters over the first weekend of August.  An additional estimated $23.4 million was provided by international audiences, totaling $78.206 million worldwide.  Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes of only 10 years ago was slightly more successful in its opening weekend at $68.532 million with a budget of $7 million more.

The sci-fi western #3 Cowboys & Aliens was attacked with the highest percent change of -56.8% to gross $15.729 million at 3,745 theaters, four more than in its premiere week.  The total domestic gross of $67.349 million is still without a foreign box office as the trio of Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford and Olivia Wilde travel the globe to promote the movie (the actors were in Switzerland at the 64th annual Locarno International Film Festival for Ford’s lifetime achievement award).

#5 Captain America: The First Avenger was this close ($509,194 to be exact) to besting The Change-Up at the box office, grossing $13.021 million in its third weekend.  The domestic total of $143.203 million surpassed the $140 million budget while overseas numbers are pushing The Avengers prequel to an additional estimated $103 million, doing the best in Mexico.

Continuing to duel on the domestic box office front are #6 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and #10 Transformers: Dark of the Moon. The two series are neck-and-neck for the top-grossing movie of 2011 (at least for now) with the Autobots edging out the Wizards; $344.244 to $343.086 million but with a two weekend head start.  David Yates’ Harry Potter raked in $12.445 million for a $1.134 billion worldwide gross as Michael Bay’s Transformers clings onto the top ten with $3.086 million and a $1.037 billion worldwide gross.  Who knew the two would be competitors?

Check out ‘What To Watch – Theater Edition’ this Friday for this week’s new movie releases….try and cheat death for the fifth time.

Feed me at sharon@horrorhaven.com

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