* 'Planet of the Apes' film takes $54 million domestically
* 'Apes' international sales hit $23.4 million
* Adult comedy 'The Change-Up' finishes at No. 4
(Adds global sales, totals for other films, studio comments)
By Lisa Richwine
LOS ANGELES, Aug 7 Chimps reigned over humans,
Smurfs and aliens at movie theaters over the weekend as "Rise
of the Planet of the Apes" climbed to the top of box office
charts with global ticket sales of $77.4 million.
The big-budget, effects-filled prequel to the 1968 classic
film about genetically enhanced apes that launch a revolution
took the top spot at U.S. and Canadian theaters with a strong
$54 million in ticket sales, distributor 20th Century Fox said
The film starring James Franco and John Lithgow also sold
$23.4 million in 25 international markets.
The U.S. and Canadian tally topped forecasts for a film
that cost about $93 million to make. Positive reviews plus
"ground-breaking (effects) technology" and "a very strong
emotional story" drew audiences, said Chris Aronson, senior
vice president for domestic distribution at 20th Century Fox.
In second place, surprise summer hit "The Smurfs" rang up
$21 million domestically plus $45.2 million overseas during the
weekend, far surpassing expectations for the family film about
little blue cartoon characters made popular in a 1980s
"Cowboys & Aliens," a big-budget sci-fi Western, finished
third with $15.7 million in its second weekend in theaters,
which represented a 57 percent drop from one week ago.
The weekend's other new, wide release film --
body-switching comedy "The Change-Up" -- finished fourth with
domestic sales of $13.5 million, hitting the low end of
estimates. The film stars Jason Bateman as a married father who
swaps bodies with his single buddy played by Ryan Reynolds.
The movie resonated with women who made up 59 percent of
the audience, said a spokeswoman for Universal Studios, the
movie studio division of Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O) that released
the film. Production cost was $52 million.
"Captain America: The First Avenger," a superhero flick in
its third weekend of release, finished in fifth place with $13
"Rise of the Planet of the Apes" was released by 20th
Century Fox, a unit of News Corp (NWSA.O). "The Change-Up" and
"Cowboys & Aliens" were distributed by Universal Pictures, a
division of Comcast Corp. The Smurfs was released by Sony Corp
(6758.T) (SNE.N) and "Captain America: The First Avenger" was
distributed by Paramount Pictures, a unit of Viacom Inc
(Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Mohammad Zargham)