Magazine article Screen International

Apes Storm the Citadel in $54M US Launch

Magazine article Screen International

Apes Storm the Citadel in $54M US Launch

Article excerpt

A stirring first release for Rupert Murdoch's former lieutenant Peter Chernin saw Fox's prequel rise to the top and beat projections to open on an estimated $54m.

On the basis of this launch and a string of mostly positive reviews, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes appears to herald a potentially lucrative new franchise for Fox.

James Franco and Freida Pinto are the on-screen human stars but WETA Digital and the wonders of motion capture technology once again impress with their work, in this case rendering apes. Andy Serkis in particular catches the eye as the simian leader Caesar."We're thrilled to launch Chernin Entertainment with a film that so positively resonated with audiences," Chernin and associate Dylan Clark said. "We're proud of the artistic achievement of Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, as it is a testament to a smart script, great direction by Rupert Wyatt, stellar actor performances, the amazing visual effects created by the WETA team, and the passion and dedication of the entire crew and our partners at Twentieth Century Fox."

Universal's Cowboys & Aliens narrowly beat Sony's The Smurfs in the domestic box office race last weekend, however the sci-fi action fell from first to third place for a $67.4m running total, while its blue rivals held firm in second and have amassed $76.2m.

Universal's body-swap comedy The Change-Up starring Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman opened fourth on $13.5m. Marvel Studios' Captain America: The First Avenger ranks fifth on $143.2m after three weekends through Paramount and Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 in sixth place has amassed $342. …

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