Dawn of the Planet of the Apes“, the sequel to 2011’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” is well ahead of the first installment on its epic first run at the box office this past weekend. The film helmed by Matt Reeves stormed the box office with an estimated $73 million, easily beating “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” which opened with $54.8 million back in 2011. The sequel takes place ten years after the first events, with “Simian Flu” wiping out the human race as Caesar and his army prepare to defend their ground. Representatives from a cluster of survivors reach out to contact Caesar as their civilization continues to fall. 20th Century Fox officially crosses the billion dollar mark at the box office this year with the addition of Reeves’ ape movie success. “Dawn” also opened strongly overseas with an overall take of $31.1 million, completing the weekend with a worldwide total cume of $104.1 million.

Check Out the First Trailer for ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’

Poster courtesy of hollywoodreporter.com

Poster courtesy of hollywoodreporter.com

Last week’s top performer, ”Transformers: Age of Extinction” slides down one spot to no.2 with $16.5 million, followed by Melissa McCarthy’s “Tammy”in third place with $12.9 million. The top 5 is rounded up with “22 Jump Street” adding $6.7 million in fourth place, followed by “How to Train Your Dragon 2” with an estimated $5.9 million. Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent” is still hanging on in the top 10, adding $4.2 million in its seventh week at the box office.

Quick look at the top-grossing pictures in North American theaters, courtesy of Box Office Mojo

  1. “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” – $73 million
  2. “Transformers: Age of Extinction” – $16.5 million
  3. “Tammy” – $12.9 million
  4. “22 Jump Street” – $6.7 million
  5. “How to Train Your Dragon 2” – $5.9 million
  6. “Earth to Echo” – $5.5 million
  7. “Deliver Us from Evil” – $4.7 million
  8. “Maleficent” – $4.2 million
  9. “Begin Again” – $2.9 million
  10. “Jersey Boys” – $2.5 million