Arriving in the UK this week, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes has proven to be one of the bona fide surprises of the summer. A film that had flown under many people’s radar, it’s picked up strong reviews, and has contemporary audiences interested in a franchise that Tim Burton’s 2001 movie had seemingly killed off.
It’s a real triumph, with plaudits rightly levelled at director Rupert Wyatt (The Escapist), and the strength of the film has now been rewarded with a good box office start in the US. The film has grossed $54m in its opening weekend in America, only just shy of Fox’s other summer blockbuster, the similarly-strong X-Men: First Class.
Less successful, meanwhile, was the latest R-rated comedy of the American summer, The Change-Up. In spite of the presence of Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds, the movie spluttered to a $13.5m opening, making it one of the weakest performing comedies of the season. Considering this was set to be the summer of Ryan Reynolds, what with The Change-Up and Green Lantern, it hasn’t really turned out as planned.
The Change-Up‘s box office performance doesn’t bode well for the further incoming R-rated comedies still on the radar, 30 Minutes Or Less and My Idiot Brother. Both are due out this month.
Elsewhere, The Smurfs earned itself a second place finish at the weekend box office, meaning its US total now stands at $76.2m. Expect a sequel, given that it’s done that level of business.
Cowboys & Aliens, meanwhile, might be running out of legs already. It took $15.7m on its second weekend, not a massive drop from its opening numbers, but the film stands on $67.3m, and will be lucky to do double that.
Elsewhere in the American box office charts, Horrible Bosses has crawled over the $100m line, with a gross of $105.1m. Captain America stands at $143.m, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 has made $342.8m, while Transformers: Dark Of The Moon is the biggest grossing film of the year to date with $344.1m (a good deal down on the last movie). Expect Potter to have seized the number one slot by this time next week.
It’ll be interesting to see if Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes continues to garner good word of mouth, and thus if it can hold a good chunk of its audience. Whether it does or doesn’t, though, you can’t help but feel that Fox has won its gamble to resurrect the franchise again.