Long Range Forecast: ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’

As the Long Range Forecast continues its plunge into the heart of summer, this week’s latest addition is the ninth installment in a venerable sci-fi franchise that has undergone an impressive box office rebirth over the last six years. What can we expect from the (supposed) trilogy-capper when it opens on July 14?

War for the Planet of the Apes


  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes proved to be one of Summer 2014’s few films to exceed both critical and box office expectations, earning a strong $72.6 million opening weekend in mid-July as it capitalized on the goodwill of 2011’s reboot, Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
  • Andy Serkis’ phenomenal motion capture performance will undoubtedly remain a marquee point of interest for fans of the franchise as he returns in the leading role of Caesar.
  • Much like its predecessors, this sequel will aim to serve as adult-friendly popcorn fare during a time of year when very little of that is available.
  • Reactions to the film’s initial trailers have been largely positive, showcasing the culmination of previously established storylines as the scale of action increases to a new level for the series.


  • The previous two films arguably had better market positioning with very few breakout blockbusters surrounding them. This time around, War opens in what looks to be the busiest month of summer and potentially one of the busiest of the year. Opening one week after Spider-Man: Homecoming won’t be an easy task, nor will preceding Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated Dunkirk by one week — the latter of which will carry significant interest among Apes‘ target adult audience.
  • Social media buzz for this entry isn’t significantly stronger than the previous film at this stage. That’s not necessarily an ominous sign, but after three years, we’d like to see some signs of growth on at least one major platform.

This Week’s Changes & Other Notes

  • Wish Upon, from Broad Green Pictures, is also slated for release on July 14. It boasts sleeper hit potential as an original mid-summer horror/thriller with young audience appeal, but the distributor’s limited release history and the film’s quiet social media footprint thus far (which is admittedly common for new horror properties) has us cautious until marketing ramps up closer to release.
  • Although tracking is comparable to Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, we’re beginning to slightly lower expectations for The Mummy based on mixed reactions to trailers. If Wonder Woman breaks out in the way that we think it could one week earlier, that also will work against the reboot’s prospects.
  • We’ve adjusted expectations for a handful of other films this week based on a combination of tracking and social media trends.

Check out our 8-week forecast in the table below.

Release Date Title 3-Day Wide Opening % Chg from Last Week Domestic Total % Chg from Last Week Location Count Distributor
5/25/2017 Baywatch $35,000,000 (FSS)
$42,000,000 (FSSM)
$109,000,000 -5% 3,400 Paramount
5/26/2017 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales $68,000,000 (FSS)
$84,000,000 (FSSM)
$212,000,000 4,000 Disney
6/2/2017 Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie $31,000,000 11% $103,500,000 11% 3,700 Fox / DreamWorks Animation
6/2/2017 Wonder Woman $93,000,000 12% $240,000,000 7% 4,200 Warner Bros.
6/9/2017 It Comes At Night $12,500,000 4% $40,600,000 4% A24
6/9/2017 Megan Leavey $4,500,000 NEW $14,000,000 NEW Bleecker Street
6/9/2017 The Mummy (2017) $45,000,000 -10% $121,000,000 -15% Universal
6/16/2017 47 Meters Down n/a n/a Entertainment Studios
6/16/2017 All Eyez On Me $18,000,000 $49,000,000 Lionsgate / Summit
6/16/2017 Cars 3 $49,000,000 $180,000,000 Disney / Pixar
6/16/2017 Rough Night $25,000,000 $80,000,000 Sony
6/21/2017 Transformers: The Last Knight $70,000,000 $205,000,000 Paramount
6/28/2017 Baby Driver $15,000,000 $50,000,000 Sony / TriStar
6/30/2017 Amityville: The Awakening $8,500,000 $18,000,000 TWC / Dimension
6/30/2017 Despicable Me 3 $75,000,000 $270,000,000 Universal / Illumination
6/30/2017 The House (2017) $26,000,000 -7% $95,000,000 -25% Warner Bros. / New Line
7/7/2017 Spider-Man: Homecoming $135,000,000 $325,000,000 Sony / Columbia
7/14/2017 The Big Sick n/a n/a Lionsgate
7/14/2017 War for the Planet of the Apes $54,000,000 NEW $150,000,000 NEW Fox
7/14/2017 Wish Upon $11,500,000 NEW $34,000,000 NEW Broad Green Pictures

Shawn Robbins and Alex Edghill contributed to this report.