Entries in Rise of the Planet of the Apes (3)


Hurricane Irene Puts Damper on Box Office, 'The Help' Finishes Top

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- Hurricane Irene battered the north eastern part of the U.S. over the weekend, and in the process also dealt a blow to the box office numbers, as movie lovers were forced to stay indoors.

The Help managed to top the weekend box office numbers, garnering and estimated $14.3 million in its third week.

Coming in second, was Columbiana, which opened with an estimated take of $10.3 million.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes ($9 million), Don't Be Afraid of the Dark ($8.7 million) and Our Idiot Brother ($6.6 million) round out the weekend's top five at the box office, in that order.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' Remains on Top with $27.5 Million

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- There was more monkey business at the top of the box office this past weekend.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes was the number-one movie for the second consecutive weekend, earning an estimated $27.5 million.  It has now earned a total of $104.9 million to date.

The Help, which opened last Wednesday, came in second place, raising $25.5 million over the weekend.  The new horror sequel Final Destination 5 rounded out the top three, collecting $18.4 million.  The comedy 30 Minutes or Less opened in the fifth spot, with $13 million, and Glee: The 3D Concert Movie finished outside the top 10, with a weak $5.7 million-dollar debut.

Here are the top 10 movies from Friday through Sunday, with estimated ticket sales:

1. Rise of the Planet of the Apes, $27.5 million.
2. The Help, $25.5 million.
3. Final Destination 5, $18.4 million.
4. The Smurfs, $13.5 million.
5. 30 Minutes or Less, $13 million.
6. Cowboys & Aliens, $7.6 million.
7. Captain America: The First Avenger, $7.1 million.
8. Crazy, Stupid, Love., $6.93 million.
9. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, $6.9 million.
10. The Change-Up, $6.2 million.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Review: 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' 

Twentieth Century Fox Film CorporationRise of the Planet of the Apes begins with promise, in the form of a brilliant young scientist named Will, played by James Franco. 

Will has developed a potential cure for Alzheimer’s. His test chimp, nicknamed “Bright Eyes” -- one of several well-placed references to the 1968 original Planet of the Apes -- is showing incredible promise, becoming intelligent beyond all expectations. However, while Will’s presenting the results of her tests to the board, Bright Eyes inexplicably goes, well, bananas, wreaking havoc on the lab, injuring lab techs and escaping into the corporate offices, only to be shot dead in the very board room where Will is making his presentation.

The head of Will’s company immediately orders the rest of the chimps to be put down. As he reluctantly follows orders, Robert Franklin discovers the real reason Bright Eyes pitched a fit: she was protecting her baby son. Robert convinces Will to take the adorable simian home.  It’s not long before Will discovers the vaccine administered to Bright Eyes was passed on to her offspring, named Caesar.

As Caesar gets older, he gets smarter, mastering sign language and becoming like a son to Will.  Sadly, it's Caesar’s affection for Will and his Alzheimer's-afflicted father, played by John Lithgow, coupled with his desire to be more like the little boys he watches from the attic window, that will get Caesar into trouble. 

And ironically, it's where the film runs into trouble as well.  

Rise of the Planet of the Apes contains some glaring plot holes and several moments that just simply don’t ring true, leaving you scratching your head like the apes on screen.  There's also a lack of real emotion from Franco, who's always great.  Here, though, he's overshadowed by the far more entertaining apes.

Speaking of those apes, give credit to Andy Serkis, the world’s greatest motion capture actor. His brilliant portrayal of Gollum in The Lord of the Rings series and later as another ape, the title character in Peter Jackson's King Kong, weren't just the product of the computer geniuses at effects house Weta Digital. 

Serkis is simply amazing, and his performance as Caesar saves the film.  Overall, the crowning achievement of this reboot is the jaw-dropping, CGI motion-capture apes. They are indeed a spectacle but to quote the great box office tracker Paul Dergarabedian, “the best special effect is a good story.”  

Its heart is in the right place but Rise of the Planet of the Apes fails to rise above merely good, which is probably good enough for most people.  It should have, and could have, been better.

Three out of five stars.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio