Box office report: 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' dominates with $54 million; 'The Change-Up' weak


Now here’s some monkey business that everyone in Hollywood will take seriously! Rise of the Planet of the Apes conquered the box office with a tremendous $54 million in its debut weekend. The $90 million Fox reboot/prequel exceeded all expectations and churned out the fifth-best August opening of all time. And it did it all without any of that pesky 3D!

Rise of the Planet of the Apes played primarily to an older male crowd. According to exit polling, 56 percent of the audience was male, while 59 percent were over the age of 25. Notably, 20 percent of the audience was at least 50 years old—perhaps fans of the original 1968 film. For the most part, viewers liked what they saw, as they gave Rise a strong “A-” CinemaScore grade. The success of Rise serves all of its stars well. James Franco rebounded from the lackuluster performance of Your Highness, which only grossed $21.6 million earlier this year, and he likely has a new blockbuster franchise to star in while he pursues artsy side projects, Frieda Pinto finally has another hit under her belt after her only other wide release, Slumdog Millionaire, and Andy Serkis proved that motion-capture may be a viable pursuit at the box office.

The well-reviewed, effects-heavy sequel, which earned a robust $14,803 per theater average, has a bright future ahead of it. With strong word-of-mouth and no new action films debuting until Conan the Barbarian hits theaters in two weeks, Rise of the Planet of the Apes could remain the box office chimp champ next weekend as well.

In second place, The Smurfs continued to defy its awful reviews, dropping only 41 percent to $21 million in its sophomore weekend. The 3D flick has earned $76.2 milliion so far, and it now seems on track to earn about $135 million overall. While that is certainly a strong number, Smurfs carries a surprisingly hefty $110 million budget (that’s not including the advertising budget), and it will need to perform well overseas for the film to be considered a real success.

Another film with a huge budget? Cowboys And Aliens, Universal’s $163 million tentpole that failed to break out last weekend. In its second frame, the sci-fi/western hybrid fell by a large 57 percent to $15.7 million, giving it a ten-day total of $67.4 million. Cowboys And Aliens had a lot working against it this weekend. First off, there was the fanboy effect—sci-fi fans tend to rush out to the theater on opening weekend to see these niche movies, and that frontloaded excitement leads to large second weekend drops. Next, there was the direct competition from Rise of the Planet of the Apes, another movie playing primarily to older males. Finally, there was the discouraging “B” CinemaScore grade, a signifier of weak word-of-mouth. At this point, Cowboys will be lucky to hit $100 million total.

Cowboys And Aliens‘ poor box office performance also represents another loss on Daniel Craig’s surprisingly awful box office track record. Outside of the Bond franchise, it seems that everything the British actor touches sinks at the box office. His Nicole Kidman collab, 2007’s  The Invasion, earned only $15.1 million against an $80 million budget. His $180 million fantasy adaptation The Golden Compass grossed just $70 million later that year. In 2009, Defiance‘s $28.6 million gross couldn’t match its $32 million budget. And now, he has the underwhelming Cowboys And Aliens. Time to put your Bond suit back on, buddy.


Image Credit: Richard Cartwright

In fourth place was The Change-Up , another Universal film that couldn’t catch a break at the box office. The Change-Up, a $52 million Ryan Reynolds/Jason Bateman body-switch comedy, finished what Friends With Benefits started two weeks ago—it officially ended the R-rated hot streak at the box office, grossing just $13.5 million in its debut weekend. For Reynolds, this marks a second straight box office disappointment, following Green Lantern‘s poor performance earlier this summer. For Bateman, it marks a major step back from his last film, Horrible Bosses, which started with $28.3 million and has now earned $105.2 million total. The Change-Up only managed a $4,635 per theater average, and the so-so “B” CinemaScore grade it earned from audiences (which were 58 percent female) doesn’t bode well for its future, either. After a summer of raunchy comedies dominating the box office, I suppose it was time for a misfire.

Captain America: The First Avenger held onto fifth place, falling 49 percent to $13 million. After a strong $65.1 million opening, the superhero film has fallen faster than Paramount would probably prefer, but its $143.2 million total in 17 days is nothing to shake a stick at. Thor had grossed $145.4 million at the same point in its run, but Cappy has faced much more direct sci-fi competition than Thor did, and The First Avenger could still reach $180 million when all is said and done.

Two other films finished in the double-digit range. In sixth, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 fell 45 percent to $12.2 million, and it has now grossed $342.8 million overall. Crazy, Stupid, Love. followed close behind, dropping a slim 37 percent in its second weekend to $12.1 million and a $42.2 million total

1. Rise of the Planet of the Apes – $54 mil
2. The Smurfs – $21 mil
3. Cowboys And Aliens – $15.8 mil
4. The Change-Up – $13.5 mil
5. Captain America: The First Avenger – $13 mil
6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 – $12.2
6. Crazy, Stupid, Love. – $12.1 mil
8. Friends With Benefits – $4.7 mil
9. Horrible Bosses – $4.6 mil
10. Transformers: Dark of the Moon – $3.0 mil

For more up-to-the-minute box office updates, follow Grady on Twitter: @BoxOfficeJunkie

Comments (208 total) Add your comment
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  • Scrooge McDuck

    Wow are Ryan Reynolds and Olivia Wilde careers over now…thank God

    • SC

      Won’t affect Wilde, I don’t think; neither of those films was marketed on her name.

    • Rich

      Ryan Reynolds is box office poison (unless he’s starring in a movie with Sandra Bullock).

      Not sure why that is, but it seems like people prefer to see him on magazine covers, over actually paying money to see his films.

      • Dr. Chim Richalds

        Naaaaaaah. Just poor timing this summer is all. Look at Franco- everyone thought the Oscars would be the end of him, especially with the flop comedy he did afterwards. One suprise hit and he’s an IT guy again.

      • poop

        I hope Ryan Reynolds’ track record this summer will help box office predictors realize that there is no such thing as an actor being a box office draw. Green Lantern and The Change-Up were crap movies, so no one saw them. When people went to see The Proposal, it was because they thought it looked funny (I personally don’t understand this). My point is, people go to a movie based on what the movie looks like. An actor can help, but if the movie doesn’t look good then, well good luck. The only exception is if you get a LOT of actors, like the Expendables.

      • JC

        Because he’s not a good actor, plays the same role every time, and stars in generally terrible movies. I’m gonna be honest here and say that Van Wilder is my favorite movie of his. I’m not kidding either.

      • Brett

        Why isn’t anybody commenting on the fact that Jason Bateman is also “box office poison”? Unless she’s playing a supporting role in a Will Smith movie, how well have his pictures done at the box office? And yet, we keep hearing cries for an “Arrested Development” feature film.

    • AK

      It probably won’t affect Reynolds much either. Even with these two flops, there still seems to be a lot of goodwill toward him in Hollywood.

      • graeme

        Yeah Hollywood tried for YEARS to make him a big star (from Van Wilder to Blade to Definitely, Maybe to The Amityville Horror to Just Friends) and he finally broke through with The Proposal (thanks to Sandy B)…but hes fallen back to his mediocre results since.

      • baerman

        The mediocre results are due to mediocre writers. It’s not like he comes up with these b s stories.

      • Bilb

        He doesn’t write the films, but he signs on for them. He’s not exactly blameless.

      • Debbie

        Was the Green Lantern sequal “green lit” before opening weekend? World wide, did it turn a profit?

      • Linda

        Hopefully they’ll recast Green Lantern for the sequel, maybe with Nathan Fillion.

      • Steve

        Debbie: Green lantern is a world-wide flop. Very poor foreign gross. Only $45M. Total worldwide gross is $160M on a prod budget of $200M and a total budget closer to $300M. It might break even after DVD/Blu-Ray release. The sequel was announced right after opening weekend. Given how quickly GL sank, it would not surprise me to see the sequel quietly axed this fall,

    • Trace

      Agree on the goodwill – but that only goes so far if virtually all of your movies fail to make a profit.

      • reel_deal

        Even though Green Lantern is still getting a sequel despite it being the summer’s only real bomb

      • Nathan

        and nobody will go to see the sequel either haha

      • baerman

        Green Lantern is -not- getting another penny. You can quote me on that.

    • StewyFan

      Ryan needs to do more of the Buried variety. He was really good in that. Him and Oliva are settling for the straight and narrow “safe” roles. It’s not working out for either of them. They need to push the envelope.

      • Lisa London

        Totally agree.

    • Nick T

      Im pretty sure its because that films bad reviews were very scathing and all said the same thing. Especiallly considering that they said it was degrading to women and the audience was 58percent women

    • LOL

      America loves monkey crap.

      • baerman

        The original Planet of the Apes series was incredible. That makes it hard to beat.

      • LOL

        Hollywood can make great films if they want to. They proved that early in the summer with the brilliant Fast Five. Sadly, ever since then, it’s been nothing but crap, this monkey movie is just the latest in a long list of crap movies.

      • Apparently the critics don’t think so..

        … and I trust them more than some d!psh!t who has apparently seen one movie in his life.

    • Captain

      She wasn’t the star of either film, I doubt this will affect her career much. The Change Up barely used her in marketing and Cowboys and Aliens had much bigger star power than her.

    • Ronnie

      Hey! I’m Ronnie!

      • Bilb

        Hey Ronnie!

      • Timmy

        I’m Timmy!

      • Layne

        You certainly are =)

    • Alice Kinnon

      Scrooge McDuck is sexy.

      • Leroy Jones

        Them talkin ducks be scary!!!

  • Mark Z.

    you throw in way too many statistics and percentages. Saying how much a film grossed on opening weekend is one thing, saying what percentage increase or decrease that is from its predecessor is another. Don’t hide your voice behind a wall of stats.

    • forg

      I actually like it, the article is more comprehensive with the stats that includes budgets, track record stats

      • Joe

        I like the stats as well, but why don’t they include foreign grosses? Harry potter for example grossed 300 mil domestic but over 700 mil world wide for over a billion total.

      • Ethan

        Because “foreign grosses” is misleading, not everything opens the same time everywhere, some american movies open later, some earlier. Plus it’s not usually news anyway.

      • Steve

        The stats are fudged so that it seems like EVERYONE is seeing the flavor-of-the-weekend movie. I don’t know a single person who has seen, or plans to see, the new Apes movie.

    • Dave

      Actually, not reporting on the percentage drops from the previous week would be lousy reporting for an article about box office news.

      • baerman

        They want to give the impression that it was a good film, so that’s why.

  • forg

    How about Cars 2 and Winnie The Pooh?

    Glad for Rise of the Planet of the Apes (hate the title too wordy) , it was a good film!

    • Tony

      True, Disney had 2 big Flops as well, which is pretty Rare

      • Cameron J

        Well, Cars was a critical flop but made some good money, and even as a flop doesn’t make Pixar much less godlike. And Winnie the Pooh was very cheap to make and made a good return- should also score some nice accolades with its great reviews.

      • baerman

        Cars 2 did better than Green Lantern .

    • Channing

      ‘Cars 2′ grossed more than $440 million worldwide. Even with its out-size production budget of $200 million, that’s the type of flop most studios would love to have considering it will be a cashcow for years to come on home video.

      • boo boo

        Cars 2 was made just for the toy line.

    • President B.O.

      A better title would have been Rise of the Tent in My Pants.

      • Dream On Laddie

        Hmm, I don’t know. Fantasy movies have a mixed result at the box office.

    • John

      You hate the title because it is “too wordy”? You must have really hated “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark” (official title), too. Wow, how lazy have people become?

      • Bill

        Actually, the official title was “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” The character’s name wasn’t added until at least the first sequel, and maybe not until the home videos.

  • jfms777

    PEOPLE MAG (owned by Time War) anoints him world’s sexiest. ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY (also owned by Time War) overhypes him. And he still cannot open a movie. He failed TWICE this summer. Maybe time to find a new “flavor of the month.” Or choose no flavor–and let the public decide.

    • Scrooge McDuck

      what the public decides the next “It” actors not publicists?

    • StewyFan

      He got Sexiest Man Alive because all the other candidates wouldn’t take it. He got it by default and needed the career boost. Not hating on him, I actually like Ryan for the most part. He just needs to take himself more seriously.

      • Dani

        Not true. Unlike the majority (say 98% *coughJohnnyDeppcough*) of People Magazine’s “sexiest man alive” Ryan Reynolds is a sexy guy.

        Any who, if he was so what? Like I said, he is atleast sexy. Unlike most of the past men on the cover and especially those they put inside the magazine. Honestly, all it takes is being famous for a guy to be called “sexy”. Only a very small number of them really are.

  • bobbyv

    Daniel Craig shines in small budget flicks. I hate the attempts at trying to make him into a mainstream hollywood star. I loved him so much more when fewer people knew who he was.

    • satsuki


    • Woot

      Layer Cake anyone?

      • EV

        Road to Perdition

    • Dan Too

      And Harrison Ford should retire and take up carpentry.

      • EV

        You hit the nail on the head BUT wood he com-plane about taking up carpentry or would he en-joist it?

    • Cameron J

      I have high hopes for Craig in Dragon Tattoo, and bummed that he’s got a flop record. I like him.

      • John

        Yeah, because that first Bond film he was in was a total bomb, right?

      • baerman

        DT is a lousy concept and I am personally surprised they found investors for that production.

      • Liz Lemon

        Me too. High hopes not just for Craig, but for that film in general.

    • reeree

      Wait for the Girl With the Dragon Tatoo

  • LOL On Steroids

    America loves Crappppppp

    • Rachel Maddow’s Future Husband

      You know it’s gotta be the moronic Fox News viewers who would go sse something like Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Even the title to the movie is moronic.

      • Leroy Jones

        At firs, I thought this was anotha Tyler Perry movie. I kept sayin “Where Madea at?” Then that hairy rangotang show up and I say “Oh, there she is.”

      • Allobidallo

        Tyler Perry’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes! lol too funny Leroy!

  • LOL On Steroids

    Planet of the apes was actually pretty good tho…

    • satsuki

      I thought it was freaking awesome, and I usually hate big-budget blockbusters (because they’re usually crap made by michael bay or those who aspire to be like him).

    • StewyFan

      I agree. Other than HPDH2, I thought it was the best movie I had seen thus far this summer. Very well done, very entertaining. Not a bit of cheese. Bravo!



      • Leroy Jones

        Dats how I seed it, too. Preach on, brutha!

      • A Ansari

        Haven’t seen that many monkeys running around making a mess since the Rodney King riots haha

      • Nicole

        You are an idiot.

  • LOL On Steroids


  • Josh

    If James Franco just had the good sense to kill that ape the human race would be fine. This is all your fault James Franco!

    • Marc


    • Furry1968

      Actually that Draco should have been more humane then the apes wouldna took over!

      • Liz Lemon

        LOL. Was T-Felt (that’s my new nickname for him) good in this movie?

    • Robert

      You do realize that Apes did not take over the planet because they made it to the forest right? The Apes took over the planet because the chemical that makes them intelligent kills the human race with in epidemic proportions. A few humans were exposed including a pilot, they end up spreading the disease.

      • Josh

        Had he killed the ape at birth there would have been no chimp uprising. It’s all James Franco’s fault! HE DOOMED THE EARTH!

      • baerman

        Nice spoiler.

      • Liz Lemon

        @baerman: I know right? I haven’t seen it yet. I’m going tonight.

  • Mephysto

    Yeah, no matter how much they try to sell Ryan Reynolds as a big movie star, the truth is, he can’t open a movie (or in this case, 2). He was the wrong choice for Green Lantern and I bet the studio regrets such decision.. Time for him to move to tv again

    • satsuki

      I’ve been thinking the same thing. He’s a tv guy with movie star good looks. Must suck to be him. A square peg shoved in a round hole.

    • SC

      That movie’s many problems didn’t have anything to do with Reynolds. His performance was cited by most critics as one of the strengths.

      • Mephysto

        Yeah, Ryan Reynolds playing Ryan Reynolds rather then Hal Jordan.. Fans of the Comic book saw through the BS and stayed away from the movie…

      • SC

        Fans of the comic book aren’t numerous enough to make much of a difference to the overall box office.

      • @SC

        And neither are fans of Ryan Reynolds apparently…

      • baerman

        These comicbook movies have been mostly stinkers.

    • Chuck

      Ryan was awesome in Buried. He’s a talent actor ;)

    • StewyFan

      The problem with Green Lattern was NOT Ryan. It was the storyline and the direction and the cheesy special effects. Not to mention Blake Lively can’t act. Sorry, but it’s true.

      • Lisa London


      • Doro

        Blake Lively was horrible, the special effects were bad, the story was boring and Ryan Reynolds as always was being his usual annoying self.. So yes, he was part of the problem too

      • baerman

        Boom! Roasted.

      • Dani


      • Dr. Chim Richalds

        I think if they laid off the love interest filler and beefed up the training sequences with the other Lanterns it would have been a pretty good movie. As it was, it wasn’t BAD like nipples on the Batsuit bad, just not as good as Thor and the X Men reboot and it suffered by comparison.

      • m1

        Is Lively really that bad? I actually thought she was good in The Town.

      • Brett

        I wish they’d cast Nathan Fillion, so when the movie flopped, we could read all the people defending him as not being the reason.

  • Bobby

    I give Rise of the Planet of the Apes a lot of credit for not jumping on the craptastic 3D bandwagon.

    • Nathan

      Amen, good to see :)

    • Susan – Canada

      Good to hear….I will now go and see it….I hate 3-D movies.

    • Apos

      Couldn’t agree more. It’s time for this 3-D craze to slink off,wither and die.

    • baerman

      It will be available in blu-ray 3-D soon.

    • Leroy Jones

      I wonts pay for no 3D. I dont need no monkeys jumpin out at me!!

  • Koozebane

    Anyone notice the scene in the film that shows the manned mission to Mars taking off? Then later, the newspapers headline reads “Lost in Space?”. Sequel set up! The people on the Mars mission will return to find Earth ruled by apes!!

    • satsuki

      I thought the same thing! Glad I wasn’t just reading too much into it and others noticed as well. I would love that to be the premise for the sequel – to basically re-do the original film. I know everyone keeps going on about how the original is so amazing and untouchable, but its a cool concept for a film, and this latest movie has shown us that these filmmakers have what it takes to do it justice. I hope they keep the behind-the-camera people the same for the sequel.

      • MM

        You mean re-redo, right? Because technically, this is both a remake of the original and a prequel to the Tim Burton version. They even kept the same font for the title.

      • Bobbie

        Yeah I think the reviewers are confused. I keep seeing “Rise” called “a sequel”, but a sequel to what? It’s not a sequel to Burton’s “Planet” remake, and “Rise” is itself a remake of “Conquest of the Planet of the Apes” from the original film series. It’s not a prequel to the Burton movie, because that film has a different explanation for how the apes overpower mankind.

  • Ryan Reynolds

    Don’t worry guys! Deadpool is gonna be great!

    • satsuki

      Oh, Ryan, Ryan, Ryan. No it won’t.

    • Mephysto

      I know, cause the lead is being re-cast

      • Lyndsey

        I’m not a comic book fan so I hadn’t heard of this character before the Wolverine movie but I thought Reynolds’ 15-20 minutes on-screen (before becoming Deadpool) was one of the best parts of the movie. He was hysterical! That & King from Blade Trinity are my favorite roles that he’s done. I think that’s part of why Green Lantern failed…they didn’t let him be a sarcastic pain in the butt!

      • Doro

        You mean playing himself over and over again? Yeah He does that ALL THE TIME!.. He is a one trick phony who people think is funny only because he is good looking.

      • baerman

        Comic book this… comic book that.. blah blah blah comic book everything. I’m sick to death of comicbook movies.

      • Jeff

        I feel like people are so blindly charmed by Ryan Reynolds’ good looks that they don’t seem to realize that he is not funny and he is not a good actor. Look at his resume. Everything on there is either crap, a huge flop, or both. It’s the same Van Wilder role he’s always played. Buried was ok though.

  • SC

    “Captain America” actually has higher attendance than “Thor”, but a lower percentage of it is in 3D; but either way, they’re performing about the same.

    • LOL

      America loves crap (aka James Franco).

      • Jason

        James Franco wasn’t in Captain America or Thor…. idiot.

        If you are going to be bitter do it right, jesus…

      • Dr. Chim Richalds

        Way to talk out of your butt. Thor was a great movie and made Chris Hemsworth a break out star. While on paper it might have looked like a bad bet, Brannagh worked some magic.

      • John

        Chim, you will go down in history as the only person who considers THOR a “great movie.”

      • baerman

        Be honest, Brannagh got lucky this time.

      • Dr. Chim Richalds

        John, what rock are you living under? Thor was a surprise hit. It had positive of word of mouth and pretty decent reviews with lots of entertainment publications, including this one, giving Marvel props for going with Branagh to direct.

  • Dumbledore Fluffernutter

    Bateman lucked out with Horrible Bosses. The public just doesn’t care about him at all- the record shows it.
    Reynolds will get other chances because he has had some success as a leading man, but based on this Summer, it definitely looks like he is over-valued by Hollywood.
    The producers of this drivel were lucky. This movie could have easily finished in 7th place. That would have been a lot more embarrassing.

    • Woot

      The public cares about Bateman when he is associated with “Arrested Development.”

      • Channing

        Unfortunately, even then not enough of the public cared about Jason Bateman and ‘Arrested Development’ to keep it on the air.

      • Woot

        To be fair though, it has gained a larger following since it got cancelled. I didn’t even know it existed back when it was originally on.

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