War for the Planet of the Apes: Third Chapter, Critically Acclaimed

War for the Planet of the Apes is expected to generate $55 million to $65 million in its opening weekend, according to industry tracking.

That’s in the same range as the franchise’s two previous installments. “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” in 2011, opened to $54.8 million domestically, while “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” in 2014, made $72.6 million during its first weekend.

The two movies combined have earned nearly $1.2 billion worldwide.

“Dawn of the Planet” relied more on the international market, which accounted for over $500 million of its total take.  It’s a trend that “War for the Planet of the Apes” is likely to follow.

The latest “Apes” movie is entering a summer season, in which franchise sequels have not done well domestically.  Movies including “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Transformers” have relied more heavily than ever before on overseas markets like China to compensate for their big budgets.

But, unlike those two movies, “War for the Planet of the Apes” has been well-reviewed, which should help build more positive buzz.

War for the Planet of the Apes trailer

Fox and Chernin are confident in their film, lifting the review embargo more than two weeks before it hits theaters.  Thus far, the movie has earned a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes. “Dawn” and “Rise” had also earned general approval, 90% and 81% on Rotten Tomatoes, respectively.

“Dawn” director Matt Reeves helmed the third project, based on a script he co-wrote with Mark Bomback, who also co-wrote the previous movie.

In this chapter, Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his army of apes are waging a war against the humans, led by the Colonel (Woody Harrelson).

Reeves credits the new, advanced technology helping him to shape the film to its current impressive level.  “I wanted the story to be the first really full ape point of view story,” he said. This will likely be Reeves’ final “Apes.” His next project directing Ben Affleck’s standalone “Batman” movie.

“War for the Planet of the Apes” will open one week after Sony’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” which is also expected to do well at the box-office.