The "Planet of the Apes" franchise was all the rage in the late 1960s, and this past weekend, what's old was new again as [article id="1668526"]"Rise of the Planet of the Apes"[/article] dominated the box office.
The latest installment of the "Apes" series (itself a loose prequel to the 2001 reboot) enjoyed the fifth-biggest August opening ever (ninth when adjusted for ticket price inflation) with $54 million across 5,400 screens in North America, according to studio estimates. It also earned much more favorable [article id="1668559"]reviews[/article] than the Tim Burton-directed "Planet of the Apes," released a decade ago and starring Mark Wahlberg.
Released in 1968, the original "Planet of the Apes" was based on a novel by Pierre Boulle and spawned several sequels, a cartoon series, action figures, lunch boxes and more through the early '70s. Several of the late Charlton Heston's lines from the sci-fi classic are often quoted in film-fan circles and the first movie's climax is regarded as one of the greatest twists/reveals in modern cinema.
[article id="1668531"]"The Change-Up"[/article] also looked to revive a dormant premise but failed to deliver. The comedy opened at number four with just $13.5 million. When asked what made this "body swap" movie different from flicks like "Freaky Friday," co-star Jason Bateman told late-night host Jimmy Fallon it's the R-rating given to his team-up with Ryan Reynolds. "Face/Off" director John Woo, the crew behind "The Hot Chick" and "Switch" writer/director Blake Edwards would likely beg to differ. The movie was dismissed by 80 percent of critics, according to Rotten Tomatoes.
"The Smurfs" — based on the hit '80s Saturday morning cartoon, itself originated by a series of comic strips from the late 1950s — was number two with $21 million, for a 10-day total of $76.2 million. "Iron Man" director Jon Favreau's "Cowboys and Aliens" was number three with $15.7 million for a 10-day total of $67.4 million. The Marvel Comics "Avengers" prequel of sorts "Captain America: The First Avenger" rounded out the top five with $13 million for a $143.2 million total.
Next weekend's new releases include the comedy "30 Minutes or Less," starring Jesse Eisenberg and former MTV Movie Awards host Aziz Ansari, and "Final Destination 5."
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