It’s no surprise that War for the Planet of the Apes took the top spot at the weekend box office. The big question is whether the third installment in the trilogy would give way to franchise fatigue like so many other franchises have this summer (Pirates of the Caribbean, Transformers, Alien). With a $57 million opening weekend, it falls well short of the second installment, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes ($72 million), but it’s about even with the first installment, Rise of the Planet of the Apes ($54.8 million). Solid reviews and great word of mouth should also give Rise solid legs, especially as the movie skews older and the 35+ set is less anxious about seeing a movie on opening weekend. With only two major blockbusters left this summer (Dunkirk and The Dark Tower), it should also have plenty of runway to continue performing solidly for 20th Century Fox through August.
$150 to $200 million is well within reach domestically, and this franchise performs even better internationally (Dawn scored $500 million overseas), so it should easily earn a profit for its studio, which (presumably) knew exactly when to stop, concluding the trilogy with a near-perfect ending. Hopefully, no one at 20th Century Fox gets the idea to force a fourth movie.