"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" ruled the North American box office this weekend with an estimated $73 million. It is well ahead of the $54.8 million debut of 2011's "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" and certainly well enough to make 20th Century Fox the first studio to cross the billion dollar mark at the box office this year.
"Dawn" scored $4.1 million during Thursday previews and $27.7 million on the Friday opening. The film added $26 million on Saturday and rounded it up to $73 million on Sunday, according to studio estimates. Thanks to the addition, Fox gained $1.015 billion this year and it's the fastest the studio has ever reached this milestone.
Internationally, "Dawn" opened to $31.1 million from its first 26 territories for a $104.1 million worldwide debut. The critically acclaimed sequel, however, could not save this summer box office from its revenue decline. The domestic box office revenue was down nearly 24 percent from the same weekend in 2013.
Elsewhere in the top 5 box office weekend, "Transformers: Age of Extinction" is down 55.5 percent from last week to an estimated $16.5 million. "Tammy" scored approximately $12.9 million and landed at number three, followed by "22 Jump Street" with approximately $6.7 million. "How to Train Your Dragon 2" rounded it up with an estimated $5.9 million.