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    Default Apes' rise to No. 1 this weekend with $54 million

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    Apes have climbed to the top rung of the weekend box office.
    The 20th Century Fox action thriller 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' took in $54 million to open as the No. 1 movie, according to studio estimates Sunday.
    That was about $15 million to $20 million more than analysts expected for the 'Apes' prequel, though well below the $68.5 million opening of Tim Burton's 'Planet of the Apes' remake 10 years ago.
    Featuring James Franco, Freida Pinto and Andy Serkis, 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' tells the story of how lower primates began evolving to take over Earth from humans.

    "I think the reviews highlight the groundbreaking nature of this movie. When you have effects that have never been seen before, people respond to that. They know they have to be seen to be believed," said Fox distribution executive Chris Aronson. "The technology is actually servicing a really good, strong, emotional story."
    Sony's family tale "The Smurfs" remained at No. 2 for the second straight weekend with $21 million, lifting its domestic total to $76.2 million.
    Universal's sci-fi Western "Cowboys & Aliens," which debuted at No. 1 a week earlier, narrowly ahead of "The Smurfs," fell to third with $15.8 million, raising its total to $67.4 million.
    ...being a human...



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