Apes Rise to the Top of Box Office; Harry Potter #3 All-Time

August 8, 2011 by

Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which opened to the best reviews of the franchise since the first Planet of the Apes in 1968, not only surprised critics, but also industry experts’ expectations by debuting with the fourth biggest August opening ever with $54.8 million, a whopping $20 million beyond (and nearly double) the most positive forecasts. This was beast enough to keep the top spot of the domestic box office way out of the reach of The Smurfs, which continues to rake in the green. Last week’s No. 1, Cowboys & Aliens, was leapfrogged by the little blue boogers and settled for third place as it shows signs of struggling to recoup its $163 million budget (its current total is less than half of that). Finishing just behind it was this week’s other new release, The Change-Up. Its modest take may indicate that audiences have had enough of the adult comedy genre this summer… bad news for next week’s 30 Minutes or Less.

Meanwhile, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is on the cusp on eclipsing Transformers: Dark of the Moon as the top earner in the domestic box office, an achievement it already owns worldwide. Harry Potter also became the third highest grossing film ever worldwide by overtaking the third Lord of the Rings; it’s highly unlikely to get close to No. 2 all-time (Titanic) and No. 1 (Avatar), so James Cameron can rest easy. Here were the top 5 in the domestic box office last weekend via BOM:

  1. Rise of the Planet of the Apes — Weekend Gross: $54.8 million — Total Gross: $54.8 million (new)
  2. The Smurfs — Weekend Gross: $21 million — Total Gross: $76.2 million (#2 last week)
  3. Cowboys & Aliens — Weekend Gross: $15.7 million — Total Gross: $67.4 million (#1 last week)
  4. The Change-Up — Weekend Gross: $13.5 million — Total Gross: $13.5 million (new)
  5. Captain America: The First Avenger — Weekend Gross: $13 million — Total Gross: $143.2 million (#3 last week)