Cartoons at the box office: Yes, “Apes” finally made a monkey out of “Transformers”

Dawn of the Planet of the ApesAudiences clearly went ape over, well, “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” as it topped the box office this weekend. The film earned $73 million on its domestic opening weekend, adding to the $30.4 million already earned overseas for a total to date of $103.4 million. Strong word-of-mouth and reviews and people enjoying the last film in the series helped a lot.

As expected, “Transformers” dropped to second place, earning $16.5 million for a domestic total of $209 million and an overseas total of $543.5 million, for a global total of $752.5 million. “Age of Extinction” is now globally the top grossing film of 2014, and may easily reach $1 billion with more markets left to open. Again, while I haven’t seen it, it’s obvious that for whatever reason, audiences everywhere  love the shape-shifting giant robots. This in spite of virtually everyone on the Internet/every movie critic loathing this franchise with a white-hot intensity.

Elsewhere, “How to Train Your Dragon 2” held onto fifth place, earning another $5.9 million for a domestic total of $152.1 million and an overseas total of $197.5 million, for a global total of $349.5 million. The film’s a success and has long surpassed “Peabody” and “Turbo,” but is still getting unfairly criticized for (basically) not making “Shrek”-levels of cash. “Dragons 2” will probably see a hit next week, when the “Planes” sequel is released.

“Maleficent” dropped a notch to eighth place, earning $4.2 million for a domestic total of $222 million and an overseas total of $447 million, for a global take of $669 million.2015-12-K-12-Google-Chromebooks-2983.html

And that’s about it. Next week sees “Planes: Fire and Rescue” (the sequel to “Planes”) open, where it’ll be up against a horror film (“The Purge: Anarchy”) and yet another R-rated comedy (“Sex Tape”). No doubt “Dawn”‘s competitors will hate every ape they see, from chimpan-A to chimpanzee.

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