It was no monkey business on Thursday, as 20th Century Fox’s “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” dominated the late night box office, pulling in $4.1 million, according to studio estimates.
The critically acclaimed sequel, directed by Matt Reeves, unspooled across 2,750 theaters starting at 10 p.m. and surpassed the $1.3 million that the previous film in the series brought in from its midnight shows.
It expands to 3,966 this weekend and is expected to generate roughly $60 million in ticket receipts, trumping the $54.8 million debut of its predecessor, 2011′s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.”
Reviews have been outstanding, with “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” receiving a sterling 94% “fresh” score on Rotten Tomatoes.
The picture stars Keri Russell, Gary Oldman and Jason Clarke and follows a band of human survivors of a global pandemic struggling to reach a tenuous peace with genetically enhanced apes.
Fox produced and financed the $170 million production. Chernin Entertainment produced the picture.