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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes hits $73 million on US debut

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Story by Jack Foley

DAWN of the Planet of the Apes has shot to the top of the US box office with an impressive $73 million debut.

The figures place it well ahead of the $54.8 million debut of 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which successfully rebooted the franchise critically as well as commercially.

Directed by Matt Reeves, the sequel features Andy Serkis returning in the role of Caesar the ape, who finds his new community of genetically evolved apes threatened by a band of humans who have survived a world-wide plague.

A tense stand-off ensues, where man and ape attempt to force a peace. But the threat of war looms large throughout.

Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Toby Kebbell, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Enrique Murciano and Kirk Acevedo are among the cast.

Commenting on the strong audience and critics’ response, a delighted Chris Aronson, Fox domestic distribution chief, said: “It’s obviously an incredibly satisfying trip the multiplex.”

Dropping to second place in its third weekend was Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age of Extinction, which took an estimated $16.5 million and crossed the $200 million mark in the US.

Melissa McCarthy’s critically panned Tammy slipped to third with $12.9 million, while 22 Jump Street placed fourth with $6.7 million and How To Train Your Dragon 2 rounded out the top five with $5.9 million.

Overall, however, box office revenue was down nearly 24 per cent from the same weekend in 2013, continuing what box office pundits have described as a worrying trend in cinema attendances for this year’s summer blockbuster season.

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