‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ (our review) went bananas over the weekend, throwing a monkey wrench into Transformers’ dominance, and grossing $103 million worldwide, including $73 million domestic, evolving 33% above the original. It was helped (a little) by 3D ticket prices, which accounted for 36% of tickets. Back in 2011, Hollywood was said to be panicking when 3D was accounting for percentages in the mid forties, so it’s pretty clear the 3D craze is continuing to cool. Makes sense, the only reason to see this one in 3D is if you just really liked wearing glasses.
‘Dawn’ cost $170 million to produce, but should have no trouble earning it back, as it opened only in a few foreign markets this weekend, including Australia and South Korea, where it doubled the opening of the last Apes movie. So far it has earned only 29% of its gross from international markets, whereas the last one made 63% of its money overseas and there’s no reason to expect this one to behave any differently. So, congrats to Fox, I suppose. I just hope this doesn’t bring about a rash of other movies that basically have “TO BE CONTINUED” at the end because FRANCHISE FRANCHISE TENTPOLE TENTPOLE.
Elsewhere, Richard Linklater’s 12-years-in-the-making ‘Boyhood’ earned $71,000 per screen in limited release, the best of the year so far behind ‘Grand Budapest Hotel.’ Which makes me wonder why they don’t just release these kinds of movies to all the multiplexes like they do with the explosion and robot movies. You’re telling me Richard Linklater and Wes Anderson aren’t popular enough to compete with ‘Tammy’? Nonetheless ‘Boyhood’ is tracking 100% on RottenTomatoes, which is a hell of a feat considering ‘Freddy Got Fingered’ only managed 11% and that movie was terrific.
In bad news, ‘Transformers’ passed $753 million worldwide to become the highest-grossing movie of the year and could cross the billion dollar mark before it’s through. Even worse, Dinesh D’Souza’s ‘America’ survived Google sabotage and fell only 11% from its opening weekend, bringing it to $8.267 million in total. Meaning we’re probably not done seeing that dope and his dumb face every few years. I eagerly await his next documentary about how Ronald Reagan really is just as great as everyone says he is. Really slaughtering sacred cows, that guy (get it? He’s Indian).
Overall, the box office was down 26% from the same weekend last year (at least where domestic grosses are concerned). But hey, what do you expect when there’s only one major release hitting? Next week should turn it all around with, let’s see here… (*checks release schedule*) …uh ‘The Purge: Anarchy,’ ‘Planes: Fire And Rescue,’ and ‘Sex Tape.’ Oy. Didn’t they used to release movies people wanted to see during the summer? Trying to decide between ‘The Purge 2′ and a movie about Cameron Diaz not understanding the cloud sounds like something I’d only do if I was trying to work up the courage to pull the trigger.