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Thanks to rave reviews, "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" took first place at the domestic box office this weekend with $54 million, which is $20 million more than predicted. Overseas, the film also exceeded expectation by grosng another $23.4 million. That's an opening total of $73.4 million for a movie that cost $93 million to make.
"The combination of never-before-seen special effects combined with a powerful, emotional story made for a supremely satisfying experience at the movies," said Fox.
The other wide release of the weekend was the R-rated body-switching comedy "The Change-Up," starring Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman. The film grossed on $13.5 million and landed in fourth place. Unless it performs well overseas, the movie will likely have trouble earning back its $52 million budget.
Meanwhile, "The Smurfs" continues to perform well. The live-action/CG comedy took second place with another $21 million. The $110 million movie has now grossed a total of $129 worldwide in two weeks. "Cowboys and Aliens," however, is struggling. Taking third place and $15.7 million, the sci-fi movie has grossed only $67.4 million on a $163 million budget.
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