Apes rise to box office summit

Monkey prequel enjoys bumper opening weekend

Just when you thought the blockbuster season was beginning to run out of steam, another summer smash comes along and proves there’s still plenty of money to be taken before the nights start drawing in.

Despite conservative expectations, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes has topped the US box office with an opening weekend of $54 million, a $33 million margin over nearest competitor The Smurfs.

With an opening day of just under $20 million, Apes had already comfortably surpassed the opening Friday of that other big sci-fi release, Super 8, but its total weekend gross had initially been expected to come in somewhere closer to $40 million than $50 million.

Elsewhere, Cowboys & Aliens continued to plod along, a $16million weekend leaving it in third place, while fellow comic-book flick Captain America took another $13 million to keep fifth spot. Sandwiched between those two in fourth is body-swap comedy The Change-Up, which only managed a disappointing $13.5 million on its opening weekend.

The Harry Potter juggernaut continues to roll onwards, with the Gringotts vaults swelled by a further $12 million. Crazy, Stupid, Love took seventh spot with a similar haul.

Friends With Benefits continued to crawl ever closer to the $50 million mark with a further $4.7 million in the coffers, while Horrible Bosses pushed its overall take over the $100 million mark with a $4.6 million weekend. Finally, Transformers 3 completes the top 10 with a $3 million death rattle.


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