Twentieth Century Fox’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes is off to a strong early start at the domestic box office, with preliminary returns suggesting a Friday gross of $14 million.
If the well-reviewed origins pic—headlining Andy Serkis as the ape Caesar—holds the course, it could open in the $35 million to $40 million range.
Directed by Rupert Wyatt and also starring James Franco, Frida Pinto and John Lithgow, Apes is drawing rave reviews, particularly for the photo-realistic apes, which were created by Peter Jackson’s Weta Digital using advanced performance capture technology.
The film, made for $93 million, was produced by Peter Chernin and Dylan Clark’s Chernin Enertainment and co-financed by Fox, Dune Entertainment and Ingenious.
Rise of the Apes earned $1.3 million in midnight runs, nearly double the $700,000 earned in midnight grosses last week by Cowboys & Aliens.
Elsewhere at the domestic box office, Universal's R-rated body switching comedy The Change-Up, starring Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman, looked to open on the softer side, although Universal believes the raunchy pic will have good legs. The film is on track to gross $4 to $6 million for Friday.
Directed by David Dobkins, the comedy is expected to open in the low to mid teens for the weekend.