Noa (played by Owen Teague) , Freya Allan as Nova and Raka (played by Peter Macon) in 20th Century Studios


If traffic holds up, Wes Ball‘s Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes will succeed in opening to a solid $52 million to $56 million domestically for a first-place finish. Friday’s haul was $22.2 million, including $6.6 million in previews.

The Planet of the Apes franchise has always been a big player overseas, and the latest installment is opening around the globe timed to its North American release. Hopes are for an $80 million international launch.

The 20th Century and Disney movie is the second event pic of summer 2024 after Universal’s The Fall Guy, which left nerves frayed across Hollywood after opening to a disappointing $27.7 million over the May 5-7 frame. Tracking had suggested the action comedy, starring Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt, would at least start off in the $32 million to $35 million range, which was already a subdued number.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is succeeding in meeting expectations, thanks to a strong turnout by both younger and older males, as well as an ethnically diverse audience. One surprise: It received a B CinemaScore from audiences despite plenty of glowing reviews by critics. Insiders close to the film aren’t overly concerned about the CinemaScore, noting that 85 percent of moviegoers gave it an A or a B. This suggests that a vocal minority dragged down the overall score by giving it a C or lower.

The pic, costing roughly $160 million to make before marketing, is the fourth title in the rebooted series that began with the James Franco-Andy Serkis-starrer Rise of the Planet of the Apes in 2011, which debuted to $54.3 million domestically. Franchise fatigue is always a concern, but Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes isn’t coming in too far behind the $56.3 million domestic opening of the last installment, 2017’s War of the Planet of the Apes.

Owen Teague, Freya Allan, Kevin Durand and William H. Macy lead the latest installment. 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.

The Fall Guy is looking at a second-place finish domestically with an estimated $14.4 million for a drop of 48 percent, per Universal estimates. Other studios show it dropping more than 50 percent, which wouldn’t be good news if the movie, which cost a net $130 million to make, has a chance of holding in and growing its audience.

More women are turning out to see Fall Guy and made up 53 percent of Friday’s audience in a win for Universal’s post-release marketing push focusing on the film’s rom-com action storyline. The film’s domestic total should hover around $50 million by the end of the weekend.

Zendaya-starrer Challengers, from Amazon MGM Studios, is holding at No. 3 in its third weekend. It’s on course to earn an estimated $5 million for a domestic total of $38.4 million through Sunday.

Screen Gem and Sony’s Tarot will come in No. 4 with a sophomore gross of just $3.2 million for a domestic tally of $11.8 million.

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire will round out the top five all the way in its seventh frame as it leaps past the $190 million mark domestically for Legendary and Warner Bros.



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