After opening X-Men: First Class two months ago, Fox brings us another prequel/reboot to a popular franchise, this time Planet of the Apes gets the aforementioned treatment in Rise of the Planet of the Apes. On the other side of the genre spectrum is The Change-Up, a body switching R-rated comedy from Universal starring Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman. Both these movies open today and you can find out more about their box office prospects right after the break.
The last Apes movie we’ve had in theaters was Tim Burton’s disappointing 2001 remake titled Planet of the Apes. Opening with $68 million (about $95 million today adjusted for inflation) it went on to gross $180 million in North America. With that in mind, Rise of the Planet of the Apes should still have a decent fanbase to work with, not to mention that this, just like X-Men: First Class, is getting great reviews across the board, standing at 84% on Rotten Tomatoes right now. Is this a sign that Fox has left behind its old ways of franchise butchering? It certainly seems so and now I can’t wait to see what they’ll do with Wolverine next. Starring James Franco and Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire), Rise of the Planet of the Apes opens in 3648 theaters and it should open with $45 million, so about half of what Planet of the Apes made 10 years ago adjusted for inflation.
While Apes is getting good to great reviews, The Change-Up isn’t, standing at just 25% on Rotten Tomatoes. On the other hand, this being a comedy, reviews ain’t going to make that big of a dent in its opening weekend. Going by previous openings for other body switching movies like Freaky Friday ($22.2M), Big ($8.2M), 17 Again ($23.7M) or 13 Going on 30 ($21M), I’m expecting around $22 million for The Change-Up.
On the holdovers front, The Smurfs will be 3rd with $18.1 million for an impressive almost $74 million in 10 days while Cowboys & Aliens should be 4th with $17 million for a not so impressive $69 million or so in 10 days.
5th place will find Captain America: The First Avenger with $13.4 million for $144 million after 17 days, still neck a neck with Thor ($145 million after 17 days).
Finally Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 will find itself in 6th place with $12 million for a new total of around $343 million. It should pass Transformers: Dark of the Moon sometime next week, Monday or Tuesday, to become the highest grossing movie of the year in North America.
Next week is packed with The Help opening on Wednesday from Disney, then comes the hilariously (and disturbing at the same time) looking 30 Minutes or Less on Friday, same as the 5th entry in the Final Destination series and how could I forget the 3D Glee concert from Fox.