"Apes" Conquers Box Office

20th Century Fox's "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" opened with $54 million domestically, $20 million more than its best forecast. It also fared well overseas, raking in $23.4 million and taking the number one spot in Australia, Spain, Russia, and Taiwan. The prequel's photorealistic apes have attracted much attention and were created using Peter Jackson's Weta Digital advance performance capture technology. "The combination of never-before-seen special effects combined with a powerful, emotional story made for a supremely satisfying experience at the movies," said Chris Aronson, Fox senior vice president of domestic distribution. The film, starring James Franco, Frieda Pinto, and John Lithgow, has also received rave reviews and appeals to a broad spectrum of age groups.