NEW YORK – "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" thumped its chest at the box office with a $73 million opening weekend.
According to studio estimates Sunday, Fox's "Planet of the Apes" sequel rode excellent reviews and high anticipation to one of the summer's best debuts. It easily surpassed the $54.8 million opening to 2011's "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," the reboot of the 1970s chimp franchise.
The big opening helped give the summer box office a shot in the arm, but it wasn't enough to stop an overall downward trend. The weekend's box office was down nearly 24 percent from the corresponding weekend last year.
After two weeks on top, "Transformers: Age of Extinction" slid to second with $16.5 million. The Melissa McCarthy comedy "Tammy" came in third with $12.9 million.