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War For The Planet of the Apes beats Spider-Man: Homecoming to US top spot

War For The Planet of the Apes

Story by Jack Foley

MATT Reeves’ critically-acclaimed War For The Planet of The Apes has won the race to top the US box office by taking an estimated $56.5 million.

The figure was enough to beat the competition posed by Sony and Marvel Studios’ rebooted Spider-Man: Homecoming, which ended up declining more than expected in its second weekend, falling 61% to $45.2 million for a US total of $208.3 million.

The news was not all good for Twentieth Century Fox, however, given that War For The Planet of the Apes came in 22% behind previous sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which debuted to $72.6 million in 2014.

It’s yet another example of the apparent sequel fatigue that has struck Hollywood this summer, with many tent-pole titles trailing their predecessors in terms of takings, and sometimes even flopping.

Overseas, the final film in the Apes saga grossed $46 million for a global bow of $102.5 million, with the UK leading the way with $9.5 million, including previews.

Costing $150 million to produce before marketing, the third film in the trilogy follows Caesar (played using performance capture by Andy Serkis) as he and the other apes try to survive the ongoing war with mankind and the wrath of a ruthless human dictator (Woody Harrelson).

Chris Aronson, Fox domestic distribution chief, commented: “It isn’t just another sequel. It is episodic storytelling that is episodic involving complex characters. This movie is going to play the rest of the summer and have a huge multiple.”

Turning to Spider-Man: Homecoming, which has also been embraced by critics, the film surprisingly fell more than the summer’s two other superhero pics, Wonder Woman (43%) and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (56%) – but remains in line with many other comic book adaptations.

Internationally, Spider-Man took in another $72.3 million for a foreign total of $261.1 million and $469.4 million globally. It has yet to open in China, Japan or Spain.

If Disney and Fox were still celebrating their relative successes in what is shaping up to be a summer of disappointments, another of the weekend’s new offerings, the horror movie Wish Upon, was the latest bomb with an estimated $5.5 million.

The supernatural thriller, starring Joey King, Ryan Phillippe and Elisabeth Rohm, revolves around a young girl who’s given a music box by her father that grants her every wish, with terrifying consequences. It placed only seventh in the US charts.

Elsewhere in the US top five, Despicable Me 3 placed third in its third weekend with $18.9 million for a US total of $188 million. Again, the three-quell is doing much bigger business overseas, grossing another $71 million this weekend to jump the $400 million threshold internationally and finish Sunday with a global total of $519.4 million, including a whopping $113.6 million in China.

Edgar Wright’s heist thriller Baby Driver also shows no sign of running out of fuel just yet, taking fourth spot with $8.8 for a US total of $73.1 million. The critically acclaimed movie is Sony’s second win of the summer.

In fifth spot, meanwhile, was Michael Showalter’s The Big Sick, which expanded nationwide after a limited run, and took $7.6 million. Based on a script by Kumail Nanjiani and his now-wife, Emily Gordon, The Big Sick draws from their real-life courtship and revolves around a young Pakistani comedian (Nanjiani) and his American girlfriend (Zoe Kazan) who must contend with their cultural differences and two very different sets of parents.

Of the other box office headline makers, DC’s Wonder Woman — now in its seventh weekend — came in sixth with $6.9 million for an impressive US haul of $380.7 million.

To underline how well it’s still doing, the film will pass up the final Harry Potter film ($381 million) on Monday to become the No. 3 Warners release of all time behind The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, not accounting for inflation.

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