“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” grossed a studio-estimated $4.1 million in ticket sales in the United States on Thursday night, marking a promising start to the hoped-for summer blockbuster.
The 3-D sequel to 2011’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” opened at approximately 2,750 theaters with showings that began at 10 p.m. The early numbers bode well for the film that is expected to gross about $65 million through Sunday, according to people who saw audience tracking surveys going into the weekend. The film's distributor, 20th Century Fox, has projected a weekend gross of $55 million to $60 million.
The Chernin Entertainment-produced film, which cost $170 million to make, takes place a decade after a killer virus nearly destroyed the human race. The film stars Andy Serkis (who returns as lead ape Ceasar), Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman and Keri Russell.
“Rise” started with $1.25 million on its Thursday night debut, then dominated the box office with an opening of $54.8 million. The prequel, which starred James Franco, grossed about $177 million through its full run in the U.S. and Canada.
Another summer sequel, “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” earned $8.7 million from its Thursday night opening in May, on its way to generating $90.8 million through Sunday in its first weekend.
Reviews for “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” have been overwhelmingly positive, with a Rotten Tomatoes audience rating of 93% as of Friday morning.
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