Fox pic could beat opening perf of 'Cowboys and Aliens'

If midnight grosses are any indication, then it would seem ”Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” with $1.254 million, is on track to at least match the opening perf of ”Cowboys and Aliens.”

Last weekend, ”Cowboys” opened with $36.4 million after kickstarting the frame with $800,000 in late-night earnings.

Nothing’s guaranteed for 20th Century Fox’s ”Apes” this weekend, but according to sources, the film is playing similarly to ”Cowboys” in early Friday numbers. If ”Apes” can keep momentum going — that is, close to how ”Cowboys” finished — then that would put the Fox pick closer to where most rival studios had predicted ”Apes” would land. Fox said on Thursday it expected the film to bow in the high-$20 million to low-$30 million range.

”Apes” played at a total 1,124 midnight runs. Pic expands today to a total domestic count of 3,648 locations.

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