Los Angeles - Apes have climbed to the top rung of the weekend box office.
According to studio estimates Sunday, Rise of the Planet of the Apes took in $54m to open as the No 1 movie.
That was more than analysts expected for the Apes prequel, though well below the $68.5m opening of Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes remake 10 years ago.
The family tale The Smurfs remained at No 2 for the second-straight weekend with $21m, lifting its domestic total to $76.2m.
The sci-fi Western Cowboys & Aliens, which debuted at No 1 narrowly ahead of The Smurfs a week earlier, fell to third with $15.8m, raising its total to $67.4m.
The comedy The Change-Up opened a weak No 4 with $13.5m.