“Rise of the Planet of the Apes” nearly doubled ticket sales predictions during its opening weekend, raking in $54 million.
The modern-day prequel to the 1968 science-fiction classic, “Planet of the Apes,” was the number one movie at the box office in the United States and Canada this past weekend, easily surpassing the $30 million sales predictions.
James Franco stars in “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” as brilliant scientist Will Rodman who is driven to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease because his father, played by John Lithgow, is afflicted with the progressive, irreversible neurological disorder. In his quest to find a cure, Rodman creates and raises a genetically engineered chimpanzee named Caesar (Andy Serkis) to test out his therapy treatment that would allow the brain to repair itself.
But things go awry when Caesar becomes much more intelligent than Rodman anticipated, evolving into something between an ape and human, and eventually leads apes in an uprising against mankind.
“Rise of the Planet of the Apes” is the fourth Twentieth Century Fox film to open at the top of the chart this year, according to Bloomberg. The Rupert Wyatt-directed film also took first place in nine of eleven international markets where movie rankings are available, according to Paul Dergarabedian, president of Hollywood.com Box Office. The film earned a total of $23.4 million in 25 international markets during its opening weekend.
“The success of ‘Planet of the Apes’ is better than anyone expected,” said Gitesh Pandya, CEO of Boxofficeguru.com, according to Bloomberg. “It’s a testament to the strength of a film that is solid and has good reviews.”
Rotten Tomatoes, a website providing reviews and information about films, gave “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” a stamp of approval, “Certified Fresh.” A solid majority, 81 percent, of movie critics gave the film a “fresh” stamp. The audience seemed to enjoy the film even more than critics, with 90 percent of viewers saying they liked it.
Respected movie critic Richard Roeper wrote of the film, “A well-crafted B movie with astonishingly effective motion capture CGI technology.”
While Lisa Kennedy of the Denver Post wrote, “The movie has some plot-point missteps. But it seldom puts the brakes on a story that moves toward a furious ape-human rumble, not in a jungle, but atop the Golden Gate Bridge.”
“Rise of the Planet of the Apes” features James Franco (“Spider-Man”), Freida Pinto (“Slumdog Millionaire”), Andy Serkis (“The Lord of the Rings”), and John Lithgow (TV series “3rd Rock from the Sun”). The film cost $93 million to make.
The film is rated PG-13 and has a 2-hour running time.
Top 5 Movies This Past Weekend
1. Rise of the Planet of the Apes – $54 million
2. The Smurfs – $21 million
3. Cowboys & Aliens – $15.7 million
4. The Change-Up – $13.5 million
5. Captain America: The First Avenger – $13 million