BO Report: New ‘Planet of the Apes’ edges out ’Dunkirk’

31 July, 2017 by Don Groves

‘War for the Planet of the Apes’. 

Faced with a choice between the latest iteration of Planet of the Apes and the second weekend of Dunkirk, Australian audiences favoured the apes by a narrow margin.


Meanwhile Andre Rieu admirers turned out en masse for his annual Maastricht concert and the Indian diaspora flocked to Vekh Baraatan Challiyan.

Chinese actioner Wolf Warriors 2 had a fair opening, while A Monster Calls and A Ghost Story predictably misfired in line with their US results.

The top 20 titles rang up nearly $14 million, down 5 per cent on the previous weekend, according to Numero.

Fox’s War for the Planet of the Apes captured $4.1 million on 279 locations, well below the $6.1 million debut for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in 2014. Director Matt Reeves’ sci-fi action drama featuring Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson and Steve Zahn is tracking well below the previous edition in the US, earning $US118.7 million in 17 days.

Warner Bros’ Dunkirk mustered $3.9 million at 301 cinemas, dropping by 35 per cent. The WWII thriller from writer-director Christopher Nolan has banked a lucrative $12.4 million.

Sony’s Baby Driver is running out of gas, taking $1.3 million its third lap on 271, down 44 per cent.  Still, Edgar Wright’s kinetic action film starring Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James and Jon Hamm has raked in a none-too-shabby $10.5 million.

Released by Cinema Live, Andre Rieu’s 2017 Maastricht Concert whistled up $1.1 million at 112, celebrating the event’s 30th anniversary.

Sony’s Spider-Man: Homecoming ascended to $23.9 million after pocketing $1 million in its fourth frame at 270, dropping by 49 per cent. The worldwide total is an impressive $633.7 million, with China and Japan ahead.

Universal/Illumination Entertainment’s resilient Despicable Me 3 reached $31.7 million after minting $435,000 in its seventh outing at 247, down 54 per cent. The comedy co-directed by Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin zoomed past Finding Nemo and The Lion King to rank as the No. 8 animated movie of all time globally, amassing $819.2 million.

Word-of-mouth isn’t great for Transmission Films’ Paris Can Wait, judging by the second weekend decline of 36 per cent. Eleanor Coppola’s meandering road movie starring Diane Lane, Arnaud Viard and Alec Baldwin reached $908,000 after making $273,000 at 114 at the weekend.

Disney/Pixar’s under-performing Cars 3 dropped by 58 per cent to $203,000 in its sixth weekend at 207, collecting $12.8 million.

Director Ksshitij Chaudhary’s Vekh Baraatan Challiyan, a Punjabi romantic comedy starring Amrinder Gill, Binnu Dhillon and Ranjit Bawa, fetched $179,000 on 23 screens for distributor Mind Blowing Films.

Warner Bros’ blockbuster Wonder Woman topped $31 million after bringing in $167,000 in ninth outing on 129, off by 57 per cent.

The sequel to 2015’s Wolf Warriors, actor/director/writer Wu Jing’s Wolf Warriors 2 brought in $101,000 from just 18 screens.  In China the actioner starring Wu Jing, Frank Grillo, Celina Jade, Wu Gang and Hans Zhang rang up $142 million in just three days, the second biggest debut of the year in the Middle Kingdom.

eOne launched J. A. Bayona’s A Monster Calls on 58 screens, generating $87,000 including previews.  The fantasy drama about a boy who seeks the help of a tree monster to cope with his single mother’s terminal illness, starring Lewis McDougall, Felicity Jones and Sigourney Weaver, bombed in the US last December.

Spanish director Paco León’s Kiki, Love to Love, an adaptation of Josh Lawson’s sex comedy The Little Death, drew just $35,000 on 12 screens for Palace, and $56,000 including festival screenings.

Fairfax reviewer Paul Byrnes hailed writer-director David Lowery’s A Ghost Story as a thinking person’s horror movie which was waiting for “braver viewers.”

Well, few brave souls paid heed as the Madman release starring Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara scared up $39,000 at 18 screens.