By Pamela McClintock, The Hollywood Reporter
Director Matt Reeves’ War for the Planet of the Apes succeeded in scaring off Spider-Man: Homecoming at the North American box office, winning the weekend with an estimated $56.5 million from 4,022 theaters.
That’s a relief for 20th Century Fox, considering many had expected a closer race between the two films. Sony and Marvel Studios’ rebooted Spider-Man ended up declining more than expected in its is sophomore outing, falling 61 percent to $45.2 million for a domestic total of $208.3 million.
Still, War for the Planet of the Apes came in 22 percent behind the last installment, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which debuted to $72.6 million in 2014. That’s not a terrible fall off but is another reminder of the sequel fatigue that’s causing Hollywood studio executives plenty of angst. In 2011 film, Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Fox has said all along this would be the final title in the refurbished franchise.
Costing $150 million to produce before marketing, the threequel follows Caesar (Andy Serkis) as he and the other apes try to survive the ongoing war with mankind and the wrath of a ruthless human dictator (Woody Harrelson). Chernin Entertainment produced. War for the Planet of the Apes sports a glowing 94 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and grabbed an A- CinemaScore.
Spider-Man: Homecoming has likewise been embraced by critics and audiences. In terms of its second weekend drop, the tentpole fell more than the summer’s two other superhero pics, Wonder Woman (43 percent) percent, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (56 percent), but is certainly in keeping with many other comic book adaptations.
The weekend’s other new new offering, Wish Upon, got lost in its debut with an estimated $5.5 million from 2,250 theaters to place No. 7. The supernatural horror pic, from Broad Green Pictures and Orion, stars Joey King, Ryan Phillippe and Elisabeth Rohm and revolves around a young girl who’s given a music box by her father that grants her every wish, with terrifying consequences. Wish Upon received a C CinemaScore, not unusual for a horror title.
After War for the Planet of the Apes, the other big headline of the weekend was Michael Showalter’s The Big Sick, which expanded nationwide after a stellar limited run. The romantic comedy placed No. 5 with $7.7 million from 2,597 cinemas for an early cume of roughly $16 million.
Amazon Studios acquired the critical hit out of Sundance before partnering with Lionsgate on the theatrical release. From a script by Kumail Nanjiani and his now-wife, Emily Gordon, The Big Sickdraws from their real-life courtship and revolves around a young Pakistani comedian (Nanjiani) and his American girlfriend (Zoe Kazan) who must contend with their cultural differences and two very different sets of parents. Judd Apatow produced.
Elsewhere, Despicable Me 3 placed No. 3 in its third weekend with $18.9 million from 4,155 theaters for a domestic total of $188 million. Universal and Illumination’s animated event film is doing much bigger business overseas, grossing another $71 million this weekend to jump the $400 million threshold internationally and finish Sunday with with a global total of $519.4 million, including $113.6 million in China.
Edgar Wright’s offbeat heist thriller, Baby Driver, stayed high up on the chart, coming in No. 4 with an estimated $8.8 million from 3,043 theaters for a domestic total of $73 million. The critically acclaimed movie is Sony’s second win of the summer, and was produced by TriStar Pictures and MRC.
Wonder Woman — now in its seventh weekend — finally fell out of the top five to come in No. 6 with an $6.9 million from 2,744 locations for a domestic cume of $380.7 million. The Warner Bros. release is enjoying an unheard of hold, and is now assured of topping out at $395 million or more domestically, among the top showings of all time for the genre.
Watch: How Planet of Apes Evolved From Planet of the Mo-Cap Actors: