We’re up to the second weekend of July and we have two wide-release films getting into the theaters this weekend, War for the Planet of the Apes and Wish Upon. We also have The Big Sick going into wide release from limited release, so we’ll get into what I think will be in the top five this weekend.
I think this top spot will be a closer battle than most people are thinking. While it would seem to be an obvious choice to put Apes on top, Spider-Man: Homecoming I think is going to have a nice second weekend. This is all going to depend on how much Spider-Man drops, and if Apes can climb over its predicted numbers. Personally, I don’t see why Apes can’t open to $80 million plus, but surprisingly tracking has always put it in the $50-60 million range, especially given how well Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014), which opened to $72.6 million. The film features Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Judy Greer, and Steve Zahn in the cast and Matt Reeves, who also directed Dawn, back in the saddle again. With the great reviews and massive following Dawn brought, plus a lot of great marketing and again some great reviews for this one, currently 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, I could still pick that $80 million opening, but with tracking right now saying $51 million, I’m gonna go higher than that and say $60 million. Not sure why it should earn less than Dawn giving everything that’s going for it, plus it’s the last one in this current run of the Planet of the Apes franchise, but we’ll see what happens. The film will be in 4,022 theaters, so we’re looking at $14,918 as the per-theater average.
So will that be enough to top Homecoming? I’m gonna say yes, but barely. $58.5 million in its second weekend is my prediction, off an even 50%. I’d normally go higher, but with so many people loving it and a lot of family audiences who haven’t checked out Despicable Me 3 yet and think War is too dark, Homecoming is a nice alternative. I’m going with a 45% drop for Despicable Me 3 and a third weekend total of $18.4 million. That should be enough for third place.
For fourth place, I think it’ll come down to Baby Driver vs. The Big Sick, and given how well it’s done in limited release the last two weeks, I’m giving the edge to The Big Sick. That film features some big-named actors like Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, and Ray Romono, and while I think the marketing has been pretty low, the reviews will be the big draw here: 97% on Rotten Tomatoes. Again doing so well in its limited release will bring more people who normally skip these films to the cinema, so I’m going with $8.5 million. 2,597 theaters will play the film. That would mean a per-theater average of $3,273. So in fifth place will be Baby Driver, which I see falling 40% and hitting $7.8 million its third weekend.
That leaves Wish Upon out of the top five, but there’s a potential for it to crack it. The film has a few names to its credit that will bring people in, like Joey King, Ryan Phillippe, and Elisabeth Rohm. The marketing for the film has been decent, and I’m reminded of other horror releases last year like Don’t Breathe (2016) and Lights Out (2016) which were big, big hits on small budgets, and all of them overshot expectations, so there’s no need to say this will doom and gloom without being in the top five. Still, both films got great reviews on its side, while this one has only 31% of critics recommending it on Rotten Tomatoes. Add to that the disappointment of It Comes at Night a few weeks ago, and it’s just a case where horror films aren’t in demand lately this summer, which I think will factor in. $7 million is my prediction, which is lower than the $8.5 million forecasted by tracking, and it plays in 2,250 theaters, so that puts it at $3,111 as the per-theater average.
I’m really looking forward to this part of the blog: looking at last week’s results on how I did predicting last week’s numbers. Well, Spider-Man: Homecoming was definitely the number one film, which hit $117 million. Guess what I predicted it at? $117 million! Okay, I’ll get bragging rights on that one for a while. Second place was another correct prediction for Despicable Me 3 which fell 53% and hit $33.5 million its second weekend. I had it a bit higher at $36.2 million, so that one wasn’t way too bad. Third place went to Baby Driver with $13 million, very, very close to my $13.3 million prediction. Fourth place was Wonder Woman with $9.8 million off only another 37%, while I had it falling 50% and getting $7.8 million. And I made it five for five with Transformers: The Last Knight hitting $6.3 million in fifth place. I had it in fifth with $6.7 million, so it did even worse than my 60% drop prediction. All right, well it’s been a bit since I’ve gone five for five and all of the picks have been spot on or a million or two off. I’m not sure if this will continue this weekend, but we’ll find out what happens.