There had been some artificial excitement being ginned up in the media over the potential box office for “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” which hit theatres Thursday night (and is very good). After grossing a moderately impressive $4.1 million Thursday night, though, the kind of over-performance Hollywood needs to break the Summer Slump now appears unlikely.
As Box Office Mojo points out, $4.1 million is no dud, but can’t compare to the Thursday nights for “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” “Godzilla” and “Transformers: Age of Extinction” — all of which went on to do just fine but couldn’t break out into the kind of phenomenon that makes a summer soar.
In fact, the Thursday night returns forced Box Office Mojo to drastically alter its projection of how “Dawn” will open. The site was originally forecasting a $70 million opening and now predicts an opening only “safely over $50 million.”
“Dawn’s” predecessor, 2011’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” opened to $54.8 million before achieving a domestic gross of $176 million. “Dawn” should open close to that $54.8 million but if past continues to be prologue this summer, another well-reviewed summer blockbuster will quickly fizzle out.
Another potential drawback for “Dawn” is that its advertising doesn’t hide the fact that it is a much darker story than its predecessor.
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