Weekend Box-Office: August 5-7, 2011

Those damned dirty apes are back...

When the original remake of PLANET OF THE APES was released back in 2001 (directed by Tim Burton and starring Mark Wahlberg), the film grossed $68.5 on its opening weekend and despite "negative word of mouth", still ended up grossing $180M when all was said and done. The latest revival of the series entitled RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES has received plenty of "good word of mouth", along with with a surprising 81% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes, as well as a 7.3/10 average on Movie Fan Central. Well, all that good stuff paid off as the film exceeded expectations by about $20M and ended up with an impressive $54M in its first weekend of release.

Compared to most "summer blockbusters", the film wasn't too expensive to produce ($90M), so if all goes well over the next few weeks, RISE OF THE APES can end up being one of the summer's biggest surprise hits. Unfortunately for last week's #1 movie, COWBOYS & ALIENS, the "good word of mouth" wasn't as strong as the film lost 57% of its audience from last weekend and ended up in 3rd place this time around. THE SMURFS, on the other hand, held up much stronger and remained in 2nd place for the second week in a row and have now grossed over $76M over its first 10 days of release.

The other new release of the weekend, THE CHANGE-UP, didn't fare too well with a 4th place opening and only $13M. Despite R-rated comedies faring very well this summer (HANGOVER 2, BRIDESMAIDS, HORRIBLE BOSSES and BAD TEACHER), it seemed as though audiences had either had enough of the raunchy comedies for now, or simply weren't interested in the ol' "body switching" premise. This result sucks a little worse for Ryan Reynolds as his GREEN LANTERN superhero flick was also one of the few comic book movies not to succeed this summer.

BTW, even though most of us tend to bitch about remakes and sequels (well, mostly remakes), it's interesting to note that from the top 10 movies on the 2011 top-grossing movies chart, 8 are indeed sequels/prequels (TRANSFORMERS 3, HARRY POTTER 7, THE HANGOVER 2, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 4, FAST FURIOUS 5, CARS 2, KUNG FU PANDA 2 and X-MEN: FIRST CLASS). The only 2 films in the top 10 that are wholly original are THOR in 7th place and BRIDESMAIDS in 8th place. Doesn't bode well for "original summer movies" for the next few years, I would assume. It's to note that the latest HARRY POTTER flick is only $2M behind the latest TRANSFORMERS movie for the top spot in 2011 and will likely surpass it in the coming week.

And while films like ZOOKEEPER ($74M) and CARS 2 ($184M) were bounced from the top 10 this week, HORRIBLE BOSSES managed to crack the $100M mark in its 5th week of release, while CAPTAIN AMERICA continued to bring in the dollars and is now creeping up on the $150M mark, after only three weeks of release.

Next week sees the release of THE HELP based on the very popular book (doesn't seem like a "summer release" kinda movie to me, but what do I know?), 30 MINUTES OF LESS starring Jesse Eisenberg along with a bunch of funny peeps including Danny McBride, Aziz Ansari and Nick Swardson, as well as FINAL DESTINATION 5, the latest installment in the popular horror franchise. I believe the next one will be called FINAL DESTINATION 6: THE FINALIST! Since next weekend's films don't seem like major blockbusters, this weekend's poll question revolves around those damned Apes movies. Specifically, which one is your favorite? VOTE HERE!!!

1. Rise of the Planet of the Apes $54.8 M
2. The Smurfs $21 M $76.2 M
3. Cowboys & Aliens $15.7 M $67.4 M
4. The Change-Up $13.5 M
5. Captain America: The First Avenger $13 M $143.2 M
6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 $12.2 M $342.8 M
7. Crazy Stupid Love $12.1 M $42.2 M
8. Friends with Benefits $4.7 M $48.5 M
9. Horrible Bosses $4.6 M $105.2 M
10. Transformers: Dark of the Moon $3 M $344.2 M




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