20th Century Fox played a nice little game with the press at the end of last week. The studio lowered estimates for their reboot of the “Planet of the Apes” claiming they were only expecting an opening between $25-30 million for the weekend. In truth, pre-polling services had the James Franco and Andy Serkis thriller debuting with more than $40 million. So, imagine the “surprise” Saturday morning when the film grossed $19.5 million on Friday alone.
Budgeted at around $100 million, Fox certainly has a hit on its hands. “Apes” should gross between $45-50 million for the three-day. And, again, that’s only a major “surprise” to those who believed Fox’s company lowballed estimations.
Debuting less favorably was Universal Pictures’ “The Change-Up.” The Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman comedy debuted with only $4.7 million. At best, “Change-Up” likely will make only $13-14 million for the weekend. That’s one of the lowest comedy openings of the summer and the worst R-rated debut as well. It appears the concept of adult body switching didn’t play well with moviegoers (although the mostly negative reviews didn’t help). Or, more disturbingly, Reynolds’ brand has been seriously damaged after the disappointing reaction across the board to “Green Lantern.”
Dropping to second place Friday after dominating the week was Sony Pictures family friendly “Smurfs.” The CG animation – live action hybrid grossed another $5.7 million for $ 60.9 million to date.
Tieing “Change-Up” for the third slot was last weekend’s champ, “Cowboys & Aliens.” The Jon Favreau action flick found another $4.7 million for $56.3 million in just eight days.
Look for final weekend estimates tomorrow on HitFix.