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James Franco appears in a still from The Rise of the Planet of the Apes. - Provided courtesy of 20th Century Fox

'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' takes No. 1 spot in Friday's box office

08/06/2011 by Olivia Allin

The Science Fiction action flick "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" took the top spot on Friday at the box office and has exceeded all earning expectations.

"Rise of the Planet of the Apes," which stars James Franco and "Slumdog Millionaire" star Freida Pinto took in an estimated $19.8 million on Friday, including midnight screenings, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Weekend box office predictions suggested that the "Planet of the Apes" prequel would gross between $30 and $35 million, but it is now looking at a potential $50 million opening weekend.

"Rise of the Planet of the Apes," which hit theaters on August 5, is a prequel to the film franchise, which depicts the power struggle of apes whose intelligence was boosted via human experimentation.

British actor Andy Serkis donned a performance-capture suit to portray the lead ape Caesar, technology which was created by Peter Jackson's Oscar-winning Weta Digital team. The film also stars Franco, Pinto, "Harry Potter" actor Tom Felton and John Lithgow.

The prequel is set in present-day San Francisco, where a man's experiments with genetic engineering lead him to the development of intelligence in apes, who begin a war for supremacy.

The film earned $1.3 million in midnight runs, which is nearly double the amount earned by "Cowboys & Aliens."

Universal's raunchy R-rated comedy "The Change-Up," which stars Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds had a less-than-stellar opening, earning $4.7 million on Friday.

"The Smurfs" continued to earn strong in the box office, earning another $5.7 million on Friday and beating out "The Change-Up" and "Cowboys & Aliens" for the No. 2 spot. "The Smurfs" has earned a domestic cume of $61.2 million.

Check out a trailer for "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" below.

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