Three years ago, Rise of the Planet of the Apes had the misfortune to face the arrival of The Inbetweeners Movie on its second week of release. While hardly occupying the same space in terms of mood and genre, the TV spinoff sucked up a huge cinema audience, and Rise fell 49% at the box-office that weekend.
This time, with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, it’s a different story. Ever since Warners moved the Wachowskis’ Jupiter Ascending off the 25 July date, the slot in the release calendar has looked exceptionally soft, especially for a weekend that essentially kicks off the English school summer holiday. Fox presumably couldn’t have been happier that the strongest competition Dawn would face on its second weekend came from Brett Ratner’s Hercules, hardly one of the most enticing prospects of summer.
The result? Dawn fell 47% on its second weekend, an almost identical drop to Rise’s. For a summer blockbuster, plunging by half is pretty much par for the course – Transformers: Age of Extinction declined 52% in its second session – but the weak competitive environment seemed to promise a more gentle fall on this occasion.
Now that the school holiday has begun, cinemagoing becomes less concentrated into the weekend, more spread across the week, and Fox can point to a healthy result overall. The last seven days saw Dawn gross a nifty £8.26m, bringing its total to £16.97m after just 11 days. That’s the third-highest total this year for a film after two weekends of play, behind The Lego Movie (£21.88m at this stage of its run) and X-Men: Days of Future Past (£19.47m). Dawn will easily cruise past Rise’s lifetime total of £20.77m.