Things were looking slightly better at the box office this weekend with a return to the blockbuster sequels that tend to be reliable moneymakers. That was certainly the case with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (20th Century Fox), directed by Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) and starring Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell and more, which topped the domestic box office with an estimated $73 million this weekend in 3,967 theaters. Averaging 18.4 thousand per theater, that opening was 33% higher than the previous installment of the sci-fi franchise, 2011′s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and the sequel is looking to become the next movie to gross $200 million this summer with a strong A- CinemaScore.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes also opened on 4,903 screens in 26 overseas markets where it brought in additional $31 million, topping the box office in 14 of those territories. The top two markets were Korea with $11.4 million in 910 theaters–a 105% bigger opening than “Rise”–while Australia’s 467 theaters brought in $6.6 million
Speaking of milestones, Michael Bay and Mark Wahlberg’s global blockbuster Transformers: Age of Extinction (Paramount) crossed the $200 million mark domestically this weekend–the sixth movie to do so this year and fourth this summer–as it took second place with $16.5 million, down 56% from last week. Overseas, Bay’s fighting robot epic grossed another $102 million–including $20.4 million from its UK opening and $16.2 million from Mexico–bringing its international gross to $543 million, more than twice the $209 million from North America. As well as the sequel/reboot seems to be doing, especially internationally, the fact it’s bringing in less than 20% of its year-best opening weekend in its third weekend is not a good sign it will even get to the $300 million domestic gross of the first Transformers, although a billion worldwide wouldn’t be too surprising. It’s worldwide total has reached $752.5 million so far.
You can check out the full weekend box office report over on ComingSoon.net.