kingdom apes

Source: Disney

‘Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes’

Disney’s Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes leads the new titles at this weekend’s UK-Ireland box office, with the ape adventure starting in over 650 sites.

Directed by Wes Ball, Kingdom is the fourth film since the Planet Of The Apes series reboot in 2011; and 10thPlanet Of The Apes film overall since the series began with Franklin J. Schaffner’s 1968 classic starring Charlton Heston.

Set 300 years after the events of 2017’s War For The Planet Of The Apes, Kingdom sees a young chimpanzee hunter embark on a journey with a human woman, to a dangerous holdout ruled by an ambitious bonobo monarch.

The film stars Owen Teague and Freya Allan, alongside Kevin Durand, Peter Macon and William H. Macy.

The highest-grossing film in the series is 2014’s Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, the second in the rebooted run, which opened to £7.1m and closed on a sizeable £32.9m. 2011’s Rise grossed £20.8m, a fraction above 2017’s War also at £20.8m.

A previous attempt at rebooting the series with 2001’s Planet Of The Apes directed by Tim Burton made £17m.

US filmmaker Ball has pedigree in the action space as director of all three Maze Runner films, the highest-grossing of which was second title Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials with £9m in 2015.

Indie space

With only one wide studio release this weekend, there may be opportunities for independent releases to find audiences.

'La Chimera'

Source: Cannes Film Festival

‘La Chimera’

Curzon is opening Alice Rohrwacher’s Cannes 2023 Competition entry La Chimera in 69 sites. The comedy-drama stars 2016 Screen Star of Tomorrow Josh O’Connor – also in cinemas with Challengers – as a British archaeologist who gets involved in a network of stolen Etruscan artefacts.

It is a fourth feature as sole director for Italian filmmaker Rohrwacher; her previous solo effort Happy As Lazzaro made £126,623 in 2019 through Modern Films.

Picnik Entertainment, the new distributor run by former Lionsgate UK & Europe president Nicola Pearcey, is opening Celyn Jones and Tom Stern’s The Almond And The Seahorse in 66 sites, increasing to 74 the following week.

Written by Jones and playwright Kaite O’Reilly, the film stars Rebel Wilson, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Trine Dyrholm in the story of an archaeologist and an architect who fight to reimagine a future after a traumatic brain injury leaves them adrift from the people they love.

Altitude is starting David Hinton’s documentary Made In England: The Films Of Powell and Pressburger, in 41 venues. Martin Scorsese narrates the look at the work of legendary directors Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, featuring archival material from the personal collections of all three men.

Limited UK-Ireland releases include Cesar Diaz’s Our Mothers, winner of the 2019 Camera d’Or in Cannes for best first feature, in two sites through Peccadillo; 1977 Billy Connolly comedy special Big Banana Feet in selected shows across 55 sites through BFI Distribution; and Cauleen Smith’s 1998 drama Drylongso in three screens through T A P E Collective, as part of a spread-out release across the coming weeks.

Park Circus is giving a 30th anniversary re-release to Danny Boyle’s feature directorial debut Shallow Grave in 238 venues, including Cineworld and Odeon sites; while in event cinema, Trafalgar Releasing is screening Madama Butterfly in 114 venues on Saturday, May 11. 

With limited studio product this weekend, holdovers should maintain decent positions including Universal’s number one The Fall Guy, Warner Bros’ Challengers and Studiocanal’s Back To Black.