The apes were kings of the box office this weekend, as The Rise of the Planet of the Apes topped the competition at multiplexes across the country, bringing in an estimated $54 million. The critically well-received film exceeded even its most optimistic forecasts by $20 million. The week’s other big opener, The Change-Up came in at No. 4, earning a somewhat disappointing $13.5 million, which wouldn’t be bad for an R-rated comedy except that this summer has also seen the releases of The Hangover II and Bridesmaids. Rounding out the top five were The Smurfs and Cowboys & Aliens at two and three (the little blue guys win again), and Captain America at No. 5. Although it’s significantly smaller than the films in the top five, one of this week’s debuts managed to surpass its budget in its opening weekend: Indiewire reports that Bellflower, a tale of two bros who build flamethrowers in anticipation of the apocalypse, brought in $24,000, which really doesn’t sound like much until you take into consideration that it only cost a reported $17,000 to make.
Photo: 20th Century Fox