‘Planet of the Apes’ Sequel Proves Better Than the FirstBy: Rachel Kolman - July 13, 2014
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes hit theaters this weekend and saw some big numbers in its first few days. Dawn, which is the sequel to 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, took home $73M, easily making its way into the No. 1 spot in the box office. Second place was Transformers: Age of Extinction, bringing in a measly $16M this weekend. It’s clear: people are fans of the apes.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, directed by Matt Reeves, picks up a decade after the first Apes movie, after the simian virus wipes out most of the Earth’s population. Without humans, the genetically evolved apes begin developing a flourishing society. Led by Caesar, the apes encounter a group of surviving humans and begin a tumultuous journey to finding peace. Dawn’s $73M box office easily beats Rise’s $54M opening weekend numbers, proving to be a stronger and smarter film.
And the critics agree, too: The Hollywood Reporter’s Todd McCarthy says that Dawn “manages to do at least three things well: maintain a simmering level of tension without letup for two hours, seriously improve on a very good first entry in a franchise and produce a powerful humanistic statement using a significantly simian cast of characters.”
It’s also incredibly visually stunning, as CGI apes are brought to life in a eerily real way, “truly making us believe we are watching intelligent apes in action,” Hollywood Reporter continues. Actors portrayed their ape counterparts with motion capture, adding the humanistic quality to their movements. Stunning effects, combined with a genuine, smart storyline, make Dawn of the Planet of the Apes the breakout movie of the summer.
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