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Box Office: ‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ Swings to Promising $6.6M in Previews

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Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes has started off its domestic box office run with a promising $6.6 million in previews for 20th Century and Disney. Some of that money, or $1.6 million, came from a special fan event mid-week, while $5 million came from regular Thursday evening previews.

Wes Ball directed the event pic, and has drawn praise from critics for taking good care of one of Hollywood’s enduring franchises. The preview number suggests the film should be able to achieve, if not exceed, the $50 million to $55 million opening predicted by tracking. Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is the fourth title in the rebooted franchise that began with the James Franco-Andy Serkis-starrer Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

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“Wes Ball’s exciting new chapter proves there’s still life in the franchise,” writes The Hollywood Reporter‘s chief reviewer David Rooney. He says it was also a smart move to bring series stalwart Serkis on board as a consultant (he had previously played the ape Caesar).

Owen Teague, Freya Allan, Kevin Durand and William H. Macy lead the latest installment, depicting a future where humankind’s hubris has resulted in apes becoming the dominant species.

Hollywood and theater owners could use some good news after Universal’s Ryan Gosling-Emily Blunt action comedy The Fall Guy came in behind expectations last weekend with a $27.7 million domestic launch. Traditionally, a Marvel superhero pic opens the first weekend of May, signaling to consumers that the summer box office season is underway. (The Fall Guy isn’t a lost cause and is counting on a minimal drop this weekend).

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is launching in 4,075 theaters, including 400 Imax locations and more than 1,000 other premium large format screens.

Set 300 years after the events in 2017’s War of the Planet of the Apes — that film started off with $5 million in previews and opened to $56.3 million domestically — Ball’s movie follows a group of young apes who question the authoritarian rule of the ape who has taken the place of Caesar. Along their journey, the apes bond with a young human.

In terms of other comps, sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes earned $4.1 million in previews on its way to a franchise-best opening of $72.6 million, not adjusted for inflation.

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Hollywood Reporter Original Article

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