LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) - "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes," a sequel about genetically altered apes that battle for dominance with humans, has knocked the giant "Transformers" robots from the top spot on U.S. and Canadian movie charts.
The 3D "Apes" movie collected $73 million in ticket sales from Friday through Sunday, according to estimates from Rentrak. "Transformers: Age of Extinction," a sequel that ruled the box office the two previous weekends, dropped to second place with takings of $16.5 million.
"Tammy," a comedy starring Melissa McCarthy as a fast-food worker who gets fired, claimed the No. 3 spot with $12.9 million.
"Apes" picks up the story of the 2011 film "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" 10 years later. Andy Serkis returns as Caesar, a brainy ape who leads his species and negotiates their interactions with the few humans who have survived a deadly virus.
The films are reboots of a franchise that began with the 1968 classic film "Planet of the Apes", about apes that launch a revolution.
"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" was released by 20th Century Fox, a unit of 21st Century Fox. Paramount Pictures, a unit of Viacom Inc, distributed "Transformers." Sony Corp's movie studio released "Tammy."
(Reporting by Lisa Richwine and Chris Michaud; Editing by Kevin Liffey)