As was prophesied long ago, an America left decimated by blundering human folly and an over-reliance on machines was saved by an ape with a machine gun, as Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes somewhat redeemed the box office’s terrible Fourth of July returns. The sequel of the prequel of the morning of the rising of the ape-ing took in $73 million to land at first place—easily besting the $54.8 million its predecessor debuted with in 2011. If that trend continues, and the story is allowed to play out to its natural conclusion, the franchise could thrive through several summers to come, all the way from War Of The Planet Of The Apes to Reconstruction Of The Planet Of The Apes to Establishing Of Municipal Governments Of The Planet Of The Apes to Community Hearing On Zoning Laws Regarding The Placement Of A New Shopping Center In The Planet Of The Apes.
Speaking of bittersweet victories, Transformers: Age Of Extinction crossed the $753 million mark worldwide, making it the highest-grossing movie of the year globally, and just a Mark Wahlberg’s-flaring-nostril distance of $1 billion total. But stateside, it fell sharply and continues on track to earn less than $255 million total—making it dead last among the franchise, so long as you don’t count the animated one. Still, as Planet Of The Apes has shown us, old structures can change, whether it’s American ticket sales dictating the future of the Transformers franchise, or our civilization with all its manipulation and needless complexity yielding to a simpler way of life, based on smashing each other on the head.
Finally, in terms of watching primates learn to adapt, there was no bigger hit this weekend than Boyhood. Richard Linklater’s film—in which he embedded himself, Dian Fossey-like, in a group of primitive Texans over the course of 12 years and observed their behaviors—had a per-screen-average of $71,800, which is second only to The Grand Budapest Hotel this year. Look for those numbers to increase as Boyhood expands next weekend, and then to break wide with next summer’s sequel, when Linklater’s subjects finally evolve to using machine guns.
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.