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Latest 'Planet of Apes' episode swings to top of N.America box office

Latest 'Planet of Apes' episode swings to top of N.America box office

Entertainment

"This is an excellent opening for the 10th episode in an action series," said analyst David A. Gross

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LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Twentieth Century's action sci-fi film "Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes" climbed to the top of the North American box office in its opening weekend, taking in an estimated $56.5 million, one of the year's best results, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported on Sunday.

"This is an excellent opening for the 10th episode in an action series," said analyst David A. Gross of Franchise Entertainment Research, adding that "the foreign numbers are excellent."

The film, set 300 years after "War for the Planet of the Apes," takes place in a world now totally controlled by the talking primates, with feral humans scraping by on the edges of civilization.

Owen Teague (as young, resourceful ape Noa) and Freya Allan (playing Mae, a human who, to Noa's amazement, can speak) lead the cast.

Universal's action film "The Fall Guy" did just that, dropping by more than half from its opening weekend, to just $13.7 million. Ryan Gosling plays a stuntman working on a film that is the directorial debut of his ex-girlfriend (Emily Blunt).

In third for the second straight weekend was MGM's tennis-based romance "Challengers," at $4.7 million for the Friday-through-Sunday period. Singer/actor Zendaya stars as a tennis star-turned-coach caught in an awkward love triangle.

Fourth place again went to "Tarot," a horror film from Sony and Screen Gems, at $3.5 million. In its second weekend out, the low-budget flick has already earned 50 percent more than its $8 million production cost.

And in fifth, for a second straight weekend, was Warner Bros.' "Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire," at $2.5 million. The battling monsters, who have sold $191 million in tickets domestically, have also proved popular abroad, taking in $367 million outside the US and Canada.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

"Unsung Hero" ($2.3 million)

"Kung Fu Panda 4" ($2 million)

"Civil War" ($1.8 million)

"Star Wars: The Phantom Menace" ($1.5 million)

"Abigail" ($1.1 million)