In a much-needed bit of good news for the box office in 2024, "Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes" had a very solid opening weekend. Hailing from Disney's 20th Century Studios, the latest entry in the long-running sci-fi franchise opened to $58.5 million domestically. That figure is $2 million above the $56.5 million estimates that hit the boards on Sunday. That's good news, as it suggests word of mouth was strong out of Friday and Saturday screenings heading into Mother's Day.

Director Wes Ball's film took in an additional $72.7 million from overseas markets to date, giving it a $131.2 million global start. That is even higher than 2017's "War for the Planet of the Apes" ($130 million), meaning it's the best worldwide opening for the modern "Planet of the Apes" franchise. Now, it's still got a very long way to go to get anywhere near the outsized global total of 2014's "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" ($710 million worldwide), but we're off to a very good start. As I argued recently, "Kingdom" is going to be able to rule the box office charts for much of May, so it should hold strong in the coming weeks. It can (and should) easily match 2011's "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" ($481 million worldwide) by the end of its run. Given its $160 million budget, that's a win.

So, what went right here? How did a sequel to a movie that came out seven years ago manage to maintain its audience, even after a pandemic? Following the movie's welcome success in the early days, we're going to go over the five biggest reasons that "Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes" conquered the box office in the early going. Let's get into it.

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