Caesar in War for the Planet of the Apes

War for the Planet of the Apes is the fresh blockbuster powerhouse this weekend, following a week after Spider-man: Homecoming's impressive debut. As the third entry in the Planet of the Apes reboot series, War for the Planet of the Apes has had a lot of buzz surrounding it over the last few weeks, especially with all the early critical acclaim. Well it finally opened to the masses last night, and it got off to a decent start, making $5 million domestically.

For comparison, 2014's Dawn of the Planet of the Apes made $4.1 million in its Thursday night screenings, meaning that War for the Planet of the Apes' performance in that same period was a 22% improvement. War also collected more money than Warner Bros' other ape-lead blockbuster of 2017, Kong: Skull Island, which made $3.7 million in this Thursday screenings. Looking to the days ahead, while it was originally projected that War would make between $55-65 million domestically in its opening weekend, Deadline has dropped that estimate to between $50-55 million, which is still solid territory.

Looking at War for the Planet of the Apes' predecessors, Rise of the Planet of the Apes walked away with over $481 million worldwide, while Dawn of the Planet of the Apes ended its run with over $710 million worldwide. Given the positive reception War has received and the success of the Apes reboot series so far, it's highly unlikely the third installment will be a box office dud. Being conservative, it will end up resting between Rise and Dawn, but if that 22% Thursday night increase is any indication, it will exceed that Dawn's haul and become the most financially successful Apes movie yet ever. That said, with Spider-Man: Homecoming still performing well, as well as Dunkirk and Valerian coming out next week, War has its work cut out.

Set two years after Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, War for the Planet of the Apes explores the raging conflict between the apes led by Caesar and the Alpha Omega human soldiers led by Woody Harrelson's Colonel McCullough. With the apes suffering unimaginable losses, Caesar starts to wrestle with his darker instincts, and the outcome of this war will determine who will emerge as Earth's superior species. While this movie marks the conclusion of a trilogy, director Matt Reeves has said that the Apes series could continue, though a fourth movie hasn't been officially greenlit yet.

Whether you've already seen War for the Planet of the Apes or are catching it this weekend, make sure to read our review of the movie, and keep checking back with CinemaBlend for updates on this franchise's future. You can also look though our 2017 movie guide to find out what else is coming out for the rest of the year.

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