LOS ANGELES, July 13 (Xinhua) -- The 20th Century Fox's "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" raced to the top spot of the box office after it debuted in North America this weekend, knocking " Transformers: Age of Extinction" off the first place.
"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" opened with 73 million U.S. dollars in ticket revenues from 3,967 locations in North America, according to box office estimator Rentrak.
The 3D sci-fi action sequel, the eighth movie in the ape franchise, got a 33 percent improvement in terms of ticket earnings over "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," which opened with 54.8 million dollars in 2011. This new ape sequel got solid reviews and word-of-mouth.
The movie won 91 percent of approval from critics at Rotten Tomatoes and a collective A- CinemaScore from first-night moviegoers. According to distributor Fox, 58 percent of the audience of " Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" was male, and 55 percent of whom were over the age of 25.
About 36 percent of the weekend gross came from 3D locations. Michael Bay's "Transformers: Age of Extinction" dropped to the second place from the top spot after two weeks with 16.5 million dollars. It has grossed 209 million dollars in 17 days. Melissa McCarthy's comedy "Tammy" took third place with 12.9 million dollars. It has grossed 57 million dollars since its debut.
Rounding out the 10 most popular films in North America this weekend, as estimated by studios, were "22 Jump Street" (6.7 million dollars), "How To Train Your Dragon 2" (5.9 million), " Earth To Echo" (5.5 million), "Deliver Us From Evil" (4.7 million) , "Maleficent" (4.2 million), "Begin Again" (2.9 million) and " Jersey Boy" (2.5 million).