|1||Rise of the Apes
|3||Final Destination 5
|5||30 Minutes Or Less||$16 (+3m)||$13,000,000||$4,501||$13,000,000|
|6||Cowboys & Aliens
|8||Crazy, Stupid, Love
Avg. CHUD Prediction Difference: +/- $2.22m
The writing was on the wall going in to Friday that Apes would stick around at the top and that The Help would end up being the big story of the weekend. Even then, The Help was largely underestimated with it still managing a #2-spot-earning $25.5 in its three-day frame, which gives it a +$35m total in five days. You haven’t heard the least of this one– the broiling controversy and discussion of its softball take on civil rights will probably slip more visibly into the mainstream news and talk outlets from here.
Apes has happily crossed into nine-figures, recouping its production budget and making a final total on-par with the superheros of the summer quite possible. There’s now been talk of a possible trilogy, and if they can keep the budget down, I’d expect to see that happen. The film’s approach to the ape-revolution allowed it to represent a lot with relatively little though, and I wonder how it might tackle the expectations for more apocalyptic, large-scale mayhem as the story continues. Perhaps more refinement and cheapening of the core motion-capture technologies will help offset bigger ambition, but regardless, it’s something the filmmakers will have to consider.
Neither of the new genre entries this weekend fared particularly well, with Final Destination curbing the franchise trend of increasingly big opening weekends, and 30 Minutes or Less not even able to best the third weekend of The Smurfs (which blue past $100m). The bloom’s not totally off of Destination, and they can likely milk another cheap hit out of the gimmicky franchise, and even then I assume we’ll see it live on in some form on video, or perhaps a reboot in four or five years. The Fleischer comedy doesn’t really mean much either. 30 Minutes was a director’s effort to not leap too quickly into big-budget studio fare after an ostentatious debut, but he’s already knee-deep in a high-priority studio gangster project. The talent in the film are all fine, either by virtue of being Academy-Award-nominated actors of note, or by having shows and plenty of lined up projects beyond it. This wasn’t a dump, but little was riding on it nonetheless.
Transformers has finally fallen out of the top 10, definitively bested by Potter, who faces no real challenger for the year. Still, the two both remain on the good side of a +$100m chasm between them and the rest of the year’s top ten. They also both represent the end of a guaranteed franchise stream, as Harry has hung up his wand, and Bay’s swinging dick (which I do think is intractably linked to the franchise) has moved on.
The next two weeks are actually going to be pretty fun, so join me Friday and we’ll lay it out and down.