Five movies with preternatural themes earned big at the box office this weekend, according to the latest figures from Rentrak Corp.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes takes the Number 1 spot, bringing in an estimated $54 million in its opening weekend. Directed by Rupert Wyatt for 20th Century Fox and written by Pierre Boulle, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, a story set in San Fransisco, where a man’s experiments with genetic engineering lead to the development of intelligence in apes and the onset of a war for supremacy. Stars Will Rodman (James Franco better known as Harry Osborn in the Spider-Man movies), Charles Rodman (John Lithgow also the alien Dr. Dick Solomon in the series 3rd Rock from the Sun and the voice of Lord Farquaad in Shrek and Lord John Whorfin/Dr. Emilio Lizardo in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension), Caroline Aranha (Frieda Pinto who will be seen as Phaedra in the upcoming preternatural film The Immortals) and Dodge Langdon (everyone’s favorite villain, Tom Felton).
Sony’s The Smurfs (offered in 3D) ranked Number 2 at the box office this week and bringing in an estimated $21 million for Sony. Directed by Raja Gosnell and written by Peyo (characters) and J. David Stem, David N. Weiss, Jay Scherick, and David Ronn for screenplay and stars Gargamel (Hank Azaria who also lends his voice as Chief Wiggum/Moe Szyslak /Apu on The Simpsons), Patrick Winslow (Neil Patrick Harris) and Odile (Sofia Vergara). Some other notable mentions are Smurfette (Singer/Songwriter Katy Perry), Grouchy (George Lopez) and Handy (Jeff Foxworthy). When the evil wizard, Gargamel, chases the tiny blue Smurfs out of their village, they tumble from their magical world and into ours.
Universal’s Cowboys & Aliens ranked Number 3 this week and brought in an estimated $15.7 million for Universal. Directed by Jon Favreau and written by Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby and stars Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig better known James Bond in Casino Royale), Woodrow Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford also Indiana Jones in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Han Solo in Star Wars) and Ella Swenson (Olivia Wilde). A spaceship arrives in Arizona, 1873, to take over the Earth, starting with the Wild West region. A posse of cowboys are all that stand in their way.
Captain America: The First Avenger ranked Number 5 at the box office this weekend, earning an estimated $13 million dollars for Paramount. Directed by Joe Johnston and written by Christopher Markus (screenplay), Stephen McFeely (screenplay), Joe Simon (comic books) and Jack Kirby (comic books) and stars Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) , Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), Colonel Chester Phillips (Tommy Lee Jones) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). After being deemed unfit for military service, Steve Rogers volunteers for a top secret research project that turns him into Captain America, a superhero dedicated to defending America’s ideals.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 fell from the Number 4 ranking to Number 6 this weekend at the box office, earning an estimated $12.1 million for Warner Bros. On 31 July, 2011, only 17 days after it’s North American, as well as most international markets, theatrical release, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 surpassed the $1 billion mark for worldwide box office earnings. Part 2 is the first film in the popular series to achieve billion dollar earnings and only the ninth film in cinema history to do so. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is the top-grossing film in Warner Bros. history. It shares the record for the fastest climb to the $1 billion mark.
“To say that the global response to the film has been extraordinary would be an understatement,” said Veronika Kwan-Rubinek, President of International Distribution for Warner Bros. “We are so proud that this last film in the series has not only reached such heights but has reached them in record time. It is now Warner Bros.’ most successful release ever, and there is still plenty to come.”
With an extensive cast Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows II is the first and only Harry Potter film to be offered in 3D and it is the most successful box office earner in the Harry Potter franchise. With an extensive cast, Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fines), Albus Dumbledore ( Michael Gambon), Severus Snape (Alan Rickman), Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione Granger (Emma Watson), Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint), Luna Lovegood (Evanna Lynch, who somehow manages to stay clean throughout the final film), Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter) and Draco Malfoy (Teen Choice and MTV’s Best Villain Tom Felton), to name a few, this final instalment truly marks the end of an era.
The final chapter begins as Harry, Ron, and Hermione continue their quest of finding and destroying the Dark Lord’s three remaining Horcruxes, the magical items responsible for his immortality. But as the mystical Deathly Hallows are uncovered, and Voldemort finds out about their mission, the biggest battle begins and life as they know it will never be the same again.
It has been a good weekend for movies with preternatural themes. In fact, this weekend’s top five films were almost entirely movies with preternatural themes. What did you see this weekend?