In keeping with the previous projections, War for the Planet of the Apes is expected to top Spider-Man: Homecoming at the box office this weekend with a haul of $57.5 million in its first three days. The rebooted franchise, which started back in 2011 with the surprise sleeper hit Rise of the Planet of the Apes, has been a reliable moneymaker for 20th Century Fox over the past six years thanks to its strong word-of-mouth. War‘s two predecessors brought in a combined $1.1 billion worldwide, reaching new heights with the $710.6 million posted by Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in 2014. The films haven’t broken box office records, but they’re undeniably successes for the studio.

This summer has seen one high-profile disappointment after another, but War looked to follow Homecoming‘s footsteps by continuing the upward trend at the multiplex as it opened. Riding buzz of strong reviews (read ours), the threequel grossed an impressive $5 million from Thursday night preview screenings. That figure was higher than Dawn‘s opening night debut, but it looks like the middle chapter of the trilogy is going to maintain bragging rights for the full weekend.

According to The WrapWar for the Planet of the Apes is poised to secure the #1 spot on the charts in its first weekend by earning $57.5 million. This figure is slightly higher than the $54.8 million scored by Rise, but a far cry from the $72.6 million Dawn made in its first frame. The reasoning for this substantial difference most likely has little to do with the quality of War. It faced stiff competition from the similarly well-received HomecomingDawn essentially had theaters to itself a few summers ago, as its most noteworthy rival was the critically-maligned Transformers: Age of Extinction (which was in its third weekend at the time of Dawn‘s premiere).

Woody Harrelson in War for the Planet of the Apes War for the Planet of the Apes Tops Spider Man At Box Office

Filling out the rest of the top five this weekend will be Spider-Man: Homecoming (taking the standard 59 percent drop to earn $48 million in its second weekend), Despicable Me 3 ($19.3 million), Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver ($8.7 million), and rom-com The Big Sick, which expanded nationwide on Friday and is estimated to make $7.9 million. That’s a diverse collection of films, illustrating there is enough cash to go around at the box office when there’s something playing for a wide variety of target demographics. Whether one prefers big-budget genre entertainment, wants to see a slick crime thriller, or is looking for a sweet date night option, there’s a bounty of options. After a rough stretch through June, good movies are bringing the summer box office back.

Shifting gears back to Apes, while it looks to open somewhat below expectations, Fox should still be mildly pleased with the way things turned out – especially considering War was able to beat Homecoming (which stormed out of the gates last week with $117 million). Audiences showed there is still an interest in stories set in this universe, which means director Matt Reeves may be able to continue the series at some point when he is done with The Batman. It will be interesting to see what happens next, but we likely have not seen the last of the highly-evolved apes.

MORE: Should They Remake the Original Planet of the Apes?

Source: The Wrap

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