‘Kingdom of Planet of the Apes’ climbs to top of box office

It’s been more than five decades since the first “Planet of the Apes” movie premiered in 1968. (Globe Photos/ZUMA Wire/TNS)

More than five decades since a group of astronauts led by Charlton Heston took a ill-fated journey to a strange world, moviegoers are still ape over the “Planet of the Apes” franchise.

“Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes,” the latest entry in the series of films about a planet ruled by talking apes, made a smash debut over the weekend, ruling the box office chart with a monster $56.5 million.

The performance of the film was particularly impressive, coming seven years after a trilogy that concluded with “War of the Planet of the Apes.” Unlike previous installments, “KOTPOTA” has no well-known stars as a lure for audiences.

In second place was “The Fall Guy,” the stunt-heavy action film that had a lackluster launch last week. The movie declined a respectable 51% percent with $13.7 million for a total of $49.7 million.

The steamy tennis romance “Challengers,” with $4.7 million, the horror movie “Tarot,” with $3.5 million, and “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire,” with $2.5 million, rounded out the top five films.

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