James Franco, Rise of the Apes, Ryan Reynolds, Change Up

Joe Lederer/20th Century Fox, Universal Pictures

Two movie stars had a shot at redemption this box-office weekend.

In one corner: James Franco, looking to put the Oscars behind him. In the other corner: Ryan Reynolds, looking to put Green Lantern behind him.

One of them succeeded.

Franco's Rise of the Planet of the Apes dominated the multiplex competition with a muscular $54 million Friday-Sunday debut, per estimates.

It is, outside of the Spider-Man movies, the biggest opening of Franco's career.

More important, it turns the page on last spring's Your Highness, which bombed, and last winter's Oscars telecast, which did likewise. (It's also not a bad thing for costar Andy Serkis' ever-growing Oscar buzz.)

Reynolds, meanwhile, didn't have a top-flight vehicle like Rise, and he didn't have a top-flight weekend, either.

The Change-Up, his critically dismissed body-switching comedy with Jason Bateman, got off to a not-promising $13.5 million start.

At this point, Green Lantern is closer to making back its budget than The Change-Up, which reputedly cost about $50 million.

Of course, GL did have a two-month head start.

Elsewhere, The Smurfs kept right on smurfin' (and uppin' its worldwide haul to about $129 million), while Cowboys & Aliens kept right on sputterin'. The latter $163 million movie is at $67.4 million domestically.

Jennifer Aniston's Horrible Bosses topped $100 million.

After a four-weekend run, Kevin James' Zookeeper left the Top 10 with its dignity: the $80 million comedy has grossed about $115 million worldwide, per Box Office Mojo.

After a six-weekend run, Cars 2 left the Top 10 with mountains of cash: $184.7 million domestically; $443.1 million worldwide.

Here's a complete look at the weekend's top-grossing films, per Friday-Sunday estimates as compiled by Exhibitor Relations:

  1. Rise of the Planet of the Apes, $54 million
  2. The Smurfs, $21 million
  3. Cowboys & Aliens, $15.7 million
  4. The Change-Up, $13.5 million
  5. Captain America: The First Avenger, $13 million
  6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, $12.2 million
  7. Crazy, Stupid, Love, $12.1 million
  8. Friends With Benefits, $4.7 million
  9. Horrible Bosses, $4.6 million 
  10. Transformers: Dark of the Moon, $3 million
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