"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" was once again the No. 1 film this weekend, with $36 million, and almost $139 million total so far, but the story that’s been the ongoing main b.o. story this summer, didn’t quite happen this time around.
"Dawn," despite rave reviews, and what seemed to be, at the time, huge audience anticipation, took a big drop in its second week of just over 50%, like so many other films this summer.
Considering the 60% or more second week drop-offs that have been more common this season, the drop-off for "Dawn" looks more promising. Not great, mind you, but it’s sure better than many other films.
And that brings back the question that I keep posing - what is the reason for these massive b.o. drop-offs? Is it because of the films? Audience boredom with what's currently out, looking for something different? Or is it simply that most of these films appeal to a certain segment (the geek fanboys), who rush out to see them in their first week, but don’t appeal to the broader audience?
Of course, with the foreign box office (right now at $101.5 million), "Dawn" is going to be a huge moneymaker for Fox, but, no doubt, studios are worried about this summer of gloom at the box office, and what this bodes for the future. What are they going to do?
For example, despite making some $705 million worldwide total, there are signs that Sony is increasingly becoming reluctant to push ahead with an "Amazing Spider Man 3" film. True, $705 million sounds like a huge hit, but, not really, when you consider the fact that the film cost a reported $255 million to make, and another $75 million for promotion and advertising (Here’s a hint - how about making more original films on smaller budgets?).
And all this still doesn’t make things looks promising for Marvel’s upcoming "Guardians of the Galaxy," which most likely could open well (but not spectacularly), and suffer a huge drop offs the following weeks.
And this comes with the news, earlier this week, when it was revealed that Marvel is currently developing a production slate of films up until the year 2021. Seriously? They really believe that there’s going to be an interest in superhero movies seven years from now? (Hey, who knows if there still will be movies seven years from now?).
Meanwhile, "The Purge Anarchy," the sequel to last year’s surprise summer sleeper hit, the ultra low budget "The Purge," came in second, with over $28 million. Considering that the sequel’s budget was a low $9 million, the film is already in the black.
Disney’s animated film "Planes: Fire & Rescue," came in third with $16 million; while the not-so-raunchy sex comedy "Sex Tape" was a disappointment, coming in fourth with $15 million.
Meanwhile Richard Linklater’s film "Boyhood" continues to be an art house hit, now playing in 34 screens, with $1.2 million to date; and it expends to another 25 cities next weekend.