‘Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes’ Beats Chest To $58M+ Opening — Monday AM Box Office Update

MONDAY AM: These apes are going to need a bigger boat for their cash that is as 20th Century Studios’ Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes came in over expectations with a $58.5M opening. Sunday came in at $16.5M, down 19%, a strong attributable to Mother’s Day. Who knew moms were fans of the Planet of the Apes movies? Typical Mother’s Day Saturday to Sunday drops are around the -28% range.

That’s now the third highest opening for an Apes movie after Dawn of the Planet of the Apes ($72.6M) and Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes ($68.5M). Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes only cost $160M, which is cheaper than Matt Reeves’ War for the Planet of the Apes which cost $190M before P&A. As we said yesterday, there’s hope for summer in a movie that can beat its tracking projections. Not everything is destined to become flat footed.

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What Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes had here this weekend that Fall Guy did not was a strong diverse turnout. Also, this is the third day in a row where the evening shows came in stronger than comps.

EARLY SUNDAY AM: Moviegoers weren’t monkeying around this weekend, making a destination to cinemas to see Wes Ball’s Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes. The movie had a lot of gorilla testosterone and held in there on Saturday amassing an estimated near $20M per non-Disney sources, which is a -10% ease against previews/Friday of $22.2M. Many believe that will get the 20th Century Studios’ sequel to $55M-$56M at the top of the pic’s range. Great job, Disney, and that’s off a B CinemaScore and 79% Rotten Tomatoes audience score.

That hold yesterday for Apes gives rivals hope that there’s at least a pulse out there at the box office; many concerned after Fall Guy coming in short last weekend.

That Friday/previews to Saturday hold bests the -13% over the same frame for the last sequel 2017’s War for the Planet of the Apes which played in the second weekend wake of Sony/Marvel Studio’s Tom Holland and Zenaya title Spider-Man: Homecoming.

In sum, Apes movies just hold. 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes posted a -1% ease between its Friday/previews and Saturday, while 2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes dipped -8%.

You’ll remember that Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes was to originally launch over Memorial Day weekend, but when Warner Bros/Village Roadshow’s Furiosa dated on top of it, Disney shifted Apes two weeks earlier and grabbed Imax.

Disney’s campaign for Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes started by teasing the scale of the film and introducing the main character, Noa. Then shifted to our charismatic villain, Proximus, Nova, and, Raka. This was in order to get the audience to relate to the characters. Next, strategic reveals were made, i.e. Freya Allan’s Mae speaking, so as to shock audiences. This then allowed Disney to utilize Mae as a key figure throughout the rest of the campaign.

The teaser trailer was dropped on Nov. 11 with the full trailer during the Super Bowl which ranked on YouTube’s top 10. On RelishMix, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes was the second-most watched Super Bowl movie spot 24 hours after the Big Game ranking after Marvel Studio’s Deadpool & Wolverine, 75.4M to 43.2M views. Tickets went on sale timed to March Madness basketball games.

Disney pumped the movie across its verticals, i.e. Disney+, FX, Hulu, NatGeo/Wild, ABC, ESPN+, and Star with special placements. There was a branded franchise collection on Hulu’s home screen and carousel on Disney+. There were “What a Wonderful Day!” hourly TV spots, animated billboards, and increased social and nav elements across ABC, ESPN, FX, Nat Geo, and Hulu, accompanied by ESPN’s custom MLB opening, banner ads, in-app integration, social coverage, as well as a UFC pre-show, set takeover, and in-show graphics. Custom 60-second spots aired during Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jordan Klepper. More boost: Disney’s D23 official fan club had an exclusive member event with a themed reception and advance screening.

One intriguing activation entailed Apes on Horseback seen in Venice Beach, the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge, New York Liberty Park, and during the LA premiere. Custom “Caution Apes on Horses” signs were placed in nearby areas.

Other beats in the Disney D-day marketing rollout included digital audio placements during Twitch livestreams, custom Roku and Amazon landing pages, and IGN Instagram takeover, and a Reddit AMA with Wes Ball and cast. There was a TikTok creator partnership created for history buffs, nature enthusiasts, survivalists and film enthusiasts. The sequel’s Snapchat lens entailed an overlay of iconic landmarks like the Taj Mahal, Statue of Liberty, and others.

Billboards and signage for the pic were splashed at JFK Airport, LAX, and Caesars Las Vegas as well as nature takeovers at Brandenburg Gate, London Tower Bridge, Colosseum, Sugarloaf Mountain, Gyeongbokgung Palace, and more.

Universal’s second weekend of The Fall Guy looks to have declined -51% (now on par with The Lost City) for a $13.7M take with its running cume at $49.7M.

SATURDAY AM: For those hooked on a theory last weekend that star power no longer works in opening films, their concerns are further underscored this weekend as a bunch of no-name apes are driving 20th Century Studios/Disney’s Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes to what might be the biggest B.O. opening this May of $52M-$55M. This is all fueled by PLFs and Imax screens which are delivering 44% of the weekend’s till. Screen Engine/Comscore PostTrak exits showed that 43% of the moviegoers bought tickets because they love the franchise, natch.

We’ll see if a Cannes Premiere this week can lift Furiosa past its current $40M-$50M projection, but word of mouth is excellent out of early screenings for the George Miller directed Mad Max: Fury Road prequel. Unlike Disney with Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny last Cannes, a movie that wasn’t ready for primetime, Warners is truly in pole position here to blast Furiosa off.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes posted a very good Friday of $22.2M thanks to late night business, which isn’t that far from the first Friday results of Tim Burton’s 2001 version ($24.6M), and ahead of Rise of the Planet of the Apes ($19.5M) and pennies lighter than War for the Planet of the Apes ($22.1M). However, the Wes Ball directed version of the 56-year old franchise gets a B Cinemascore and 3 1/2 stars/77% on Screen Engine/Comscore’s PostTrak, so hopefully these apes don’t lose their muscle. On a whole 85% of the CinemaScore audience gave Kingdom an A or a B. That’s one of the lowest grades for an Apes movie in the millennium down there with Burton’s which got a B-. Rotten Tomatoes’ audience score has eased to 79%. Still, good on Disney for getting this movie opened, their first try with the franchise post 20th Century Fox. Despite the audience exits, there’s confidence at Disney for the sequel to arrive at the higher end of its projections due to its better-than-expected Friday.

Social media monitor RelishMix detected mixed to positive word of mouth before Kingdom‘s opening. That said on the bright side: “Fans anticipating the sequel seem excited primarily because of one thing — sheer love for the past three films. ‘This looks freaking incredible. I gotta rewatch all the previous ones before this comes out. These movies are so cool.’ The quality of the past films is driving immense interest in this one” ‘This is one of the best franchises ever made. Every movie was awesome. A near-perfect trilogy. I was not expecting a fourth installment, but man, this looks great!’ Whatever direction the Apes franchise goes next, it looks like fans will follow.”

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes saw 64% men turnout with 18-34 year olds repping 57% of the audience with the 25-34 year old segment being the biggest demo at close to a third. Solid diversity demos in 35% Caucasian, 27% Latino and Hispanic, 22% Black, and 9% Asian. Those moviegoers going bananas for this sequel were in the South, South Central and West. AMC Burbank is currently the highest grossing theater in the nation with $67K.

The social media universe for Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes stands at 331.6M followers across TikTok, Facebook, X, YouTube and Instagram.  Compared to other action sci-fi comps, Kingdom‘s smu runs 24% above genre norms, but below recent pics such as Dune: Part Two (575.7M) and Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (508.8M) and even Hunger Games: Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (393M).

'The Fall Guy' review Ryan Gosling SXSW
Ryan Gosling in ‘The Fall Guy’

Universal’s second weekend of Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt’s Fall Guy is eyeing $14.4M, -48%, a very good hold. The second weekend is better than Lost City‘s -51%, but a little lighter as that Sandra Bullock-Channing Tatum film posted $14.7M. The pic’s slither out of the gate had more to do with the marketplace, and the insider type of movie that it was and less about stars — it was Gosling’s third highest opening of his career. Some were even put off by the mixed genres. “It’s a problem when you’re pushing a romantic comedy and a majority of men show up,” sniped one rival studio source.

Elsewhere, there’s Briarcliff Entertainment’s comedy satire, Not Another Church Movie, booked at 1,108 theaters which had no P&A spend and is resulting in $120K Friday and a $300K 3-day. Critics didn’t think it was funny at 17% on RT, nor did moviegoers at 44%. Johnny Mack wrote and directed the movie which stars Mickey Rouke as the Devil, Jamie Foxx as God and Kevin Daniels as Taylor Pharry.

Overall weekend stands at $93.8M, which is 27% ahead of last weekend, but 7% off from the same frame in May a year ago when the second weekend of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 delivered $62M.

1.) Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes (20th/Dis) 4,075 theaters, Fri $22.2M, 3-day $52M-$55M/Wk 1

2.) Fall Guy (Uni) 4,008 (+6) theaters, Fri $3.55M (-66%), 3-day $14.4M (-48%), Total $50.3M/Wk 2

3.) Challengers (AMZ MGM) 2,609 theaters, Fri $1.6M (-36%), 3-day $5M (-34%)/Total $38.3M/ Wk 3

4.) Tarot (Sony) 3,104 theaters,Fri $1M (-60%) 3-day $3.2M (-51%)/Total $11.7M Wk 2

5.) Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (Leg/WB) 2,531 (-353) theaters, Fri $600K (-43%) 3-day $2.6M (-43%)/Total $191.8M/ Wk 7

6.) Unsung Hero (LG) 2,272 (-560) theaters,Fri $530K (-39%), 3-day $2.2M (-26%), Total $16.7M/Wk 3

7.) Kung Fu Panda 4 (Uni) 2,111 (-269) theaters, Fri $400K (-22%), 3-day $2M (-20%), Total $191.1M/Wk 10

8.) Civil War (A24) 2,204 (-485) theaters, Fri $511K (-47%) 3-day $1.9M (-46%), Total $65.3M/Wk 5

9.) Star Wars The Phantom Menace (20th) 2,700 theaters, Fri $436K, 3-day $1.6M (-82%), Total lifetime $486.6M/Wk 2 re-release

10.) Abigail (Uni) 1,641 (-997) theatres, Fri $330K (-52%), 3-day $1.1M (-53%)/Total $24.7M/Wk 4

FRIDAY AFTERNOON: Knock on wood, but this summer release looks to be meeting its tracking projections. Wes Ball’s Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes from 20th Century Studios, the first Apes release under the Disney empire, is looking at $21M-$22M today (which includes previews) for a what is looking like a $52M-$55M opening at 4,075 theaters. Tracking saw it around $50M.

Also, the opening is in the vicinity of the first and third chapter of the previous millennium trilogy: 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes ($19.5M Friday, $54.8M 3-day) and 2017’s War for the Planet of the Apes ($22.1M Friday, $56.2M 3-day). RT Audience sentiment is still at 82%.

The rest of the top five is as follows:

2.) Fall Guy (Uni) 4,008 theaters, Fri $3.6M, 3-day $14.5M, -48%, Total $50.5M/Wk 2

3.) Challengers (AMZ) 2,609 theaters, Fri $1.55M, 3-day $5M, -34%, Total $38.3M/Wk 3

4.) Tarot (Sony) 3,104 theaters, Fri $1M, 3-day $3.4M, -48%, Total $12M/Wk 2

5.) Godzilla x Kong (WB/Leg) 2,531 theaters, Fri $700K, 3-day $3M, -34%, Total $192.3M/Wk 7

UPDATED, AFTER EXCLUSIVE: 20th Century Studios’ Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes filed $6.6M in previews per Disney. As we told you, $1.6M of that comes from Wednesday night fan screenings, hence Thursday’s $5M ties with the preview cash of the franchise’s previous chapter, War for the Planet of the Apes.

That preview number is above Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire ($4.7M) which saw a $45M 3-day opening, and it’s under the $7.2M posted by Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny which turned in a $60.4M domestic start.

The Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is playing in 4,075 theaters on all premium screens including 40 Imax, 950 PLFs, 300 Dbox/4D Motion screens and 90 Screen X locations.

Rest of the week is as follows:

  1. Fall Guy (Uni) 4,002 theaters, Thu $1.5M (-8% from Wed), Total $36M/Wk 1

  2. Challengers (AMZ MGM) 3,477 theaters, Thu $897K (-5%), Wk $11.5M, Total $33.3M/Wk 2

  3. Star Wars – Phantom Menace (Dis) 2,700 theaters, Thu $347K (-19%), Wk $10.5M/Total $484.9M lifetime/Wk 1 re-release

  4. Tarot (Sony) 3,104 theaters, Thu $466K (+7%), Wk $8.5M/Wk 1

  5. Godzilla x Kong (Leg/WB) 2,884 theatres, Thu $233K (-14%), Wk $5.7M, Total $189.3M/Wk 6

EXCLUSIVE: Sources tell us that 20th Century Studios’ Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is off to a good start with previews around $6.5M. That’s comprised of Thursday night money which began accruing at 3PM and around $1.6M from Wednesday fan shows that began at 7PM.

We’ll know tomorrow AM if it’s the best Thursday night ever for an Apes movie besting 2017’s War for the Planet of the Apes which did $5M on its preview night before a $22.1M Friday and $56.2M opening. This Wes Ball directed PG-13 sequel takes place 300 years after the events of Matt Reeves’ War for the Planet of the Apes.

Already, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes‘ Thursday has bested that of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ which did $4.25M before minting a $27.6M Friday and massive 3-day of $72.6M, still a record domestic debut for the Apes‘ franchise.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ is 82% on Rotten Tomatoes with critics and 82% with RT audiences.

Tonight’s results are a bit of fresh air next to the $3.15M Wednesday and Thursday previews of Universal’s Fall Guy last weekend which fizzled with a $27.7M opening. While fans always populate Thursday night shows, hopefully Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes at a 2 hours and 25 minutes running time can hold it together throughout the weekend.

Hands down tonight, it’s the best preview cash for a Ball movie, beating all of his Maze Runner titles.

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