This past weekend the simians did indeed rule the planet…at least at the box office. ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ took in $54 million at the domestic box office and $77.4 million worldwide. The opening was certainly bigger than most industry experts had predicted, but not enough to beat 2001’s ‘Planet of the Apes’ reboot that took in $68 million its opening weekend. And though not as large as some other genre film openings this summer, it was big enough to be the 5th largest August opening in history.

There’s also already discussions of a possible sequel given a successful opening. In a recent Bleeding Cool interview with director Rupert Wyatt, the director said this about a sequel, “There’s so much we could do… The ideas I’ve had are all sorts of things, ranging from Full Metal Jacket with apes… you could start this story again eight years from where we left off, the next generation of apes, those that have come from our protagonists, perhaps going in to a conflict with humans and showing real fear, in the same way as going into war for young soldiers in this day and age, telling their story. Or how apes are taking over cities, and being moved into human environments and having to interact with them and deal with things that are part of our culture and understand and evolve through them. Spies that are in the employ of the apes, working against humans and humans maybe existing underground, because that’s a way they can avoid the virus, coming up above ground wearing gas masks, and maybe that’s what dehumanizes them.”

Last weekend’s number one film ‘Cowboys & Aliens’ didn’t have a great second weekend either after opening below expectations. Falling to 3rd place,  ‘Cowboys’ took in an additional $15.7 million falling behind ‘The Smurfs’. “Take your stinking blue paws off me you damn dirty Smurf”. ‘Cowboys’ has yet to open internationally.

‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ slipped to 5th with an additional $13 million bringing its worldwide box office to $246 million. The heroic film still has some potential since its only opened in about half of the international territories.

Placing 6th, ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2’ has taken in an additional $130 million since crossing the $1 billion mark last week.

‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’ also passed the $1 billion mark last week and took in another $3 million at the domestic box office.

Two interesting indie sci-fi films are also doing well. ‘Another Earth’ continued its expansion from 20 theaters to now 55. It took in $165k bringing its domestic total to $447k. The $13 million budgeted ‘Attack The Block’ took in $78k at 8 theaters bringing its domestic total to $296k. It will continue to expand its number of theaters in the coming weeks. It’s international box office now stands at $4.2 million in just four markets with most of the money coming from the U.K. where the film originated.

1. ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ $54 million
2. ‘The Smurfs’    $21 million
3. ‘Cowboys & Aliens’   $15.7 million
4. ‘The Change-Up’   $13.5 million
5. ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ $13 million
6. ‘Harry Potter & TDH Part 2’   $12.16 million
7. ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love   $12.10 million
8. ‘Friends With Benefits’  $4.7 million
7. ‘Horrible Bosses   $4.6 million
10. ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’ $3.0 million