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'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' rules early and will reign

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The movie theaters will go ape over the weekend. That is a given, but will "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" be able to beat expectations and help reignite the box office? It has already banked $4.1 million with the Thursday showings.

Yes, the box office is off from last summer and overall, so enter the "Ape" saga that is well-known to many. It may help pull in many demographics who view it as a nostalgic drama, a war movie, and yes, a date movie. What? It could happen.

The film stars Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman and Keri Russell. One may wonder if the recent interview rant from Oldman will having any bearing on this one. Most likely not, as it is trending toward $60 million for the three days. The key will be too not read to much into it and enjoy the movie. Sometimes a movie is just a movie and not social commentary, unless one wants it to be. It has the feel of a "Godzilla" where purists will cringe and movie fans will roar.

"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" is the lone wolf among new wide releases. But there is plenty out there to give a look. Some of the holdovers had solid openings and then fell fast, while "22 Jump Street" stayed healthy. "Transformers 4" is still there but "Apes" will rule the planet.

Sure, there is talk of the low box office, but keep in mind that the last two years were record-setters. It had to come down to earth sometime. It is now. Perhaps, the superhero glut came into play as well. Even the die-hards can say "enough is enough." It would be nice to be able to soak in a movie now and then. Being able to watch it, talk about it, and then let the next chapter build. These days, one superhero movie plays big and the movie-goers cannot even catch their breathe before another one is here. There is build-up but the anticipation after that quickly fades.

Two smaller releases are "Boyhood" and "Landho." The first was filmed over a 11-12 year span (a few days a year) and is a journey about life and growing up. Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Lorelei Linklater and Ellar Coltrane. The latter is about a road trip among brothers. But it is "Boyhood," directed Richard Linklater, that has all the buzz and perhaps Oscar talk will follow.

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