Audiences went bananas on Friday for the latest sequel in the simian saga, as "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" ruled the box office with a $27.7 million opening. 

"Dawn" is on its way to a big $70 million weekend debut, placing it well ahead of its predecessor, "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," which bowed to $54.8 million in 2011. That film went on to gross $176.6 million domestically. 

"Dawn" stars Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman and Andy Serkis. 

Michael Bay's "Transformers: Age of Extinction" came in a distant second place, picking up another $4.8 million. The film has so far earned a huge $197.3 domestically, and should be passing the $200 million mark sometime today. 

The fourth film in the series, it stars Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor and Stanley Tucci. 

The Melissa McCarthy comedy "Tammy" picked up another $4 million for the bronze. Its North American total stands at a decent $48.4 million. 

Holdover "22 Jump Street," reuniting Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill and Ice Cube, scored $2 million, brining its total to $167.3 million. The first film topped out at $138 million domestically. 

"Earth to Echo" phone home for fifth place finish, earning $1.7 million. It has so far earned just $20.8 million. 

On the smaller side of things, both Dinesh D'Souza's documentary "America" and Richard Linklater's acclaimed "Boyhood" are having strong weekends. The latter earned a huge $102,161 from just five theaters (a per-theater average of $20,432). It opens wider next weekend.

Look for complete weekend estimates Sunday on HitFix.

Dave Lewis has been a Los Angeles-based entertainment writer and editor for nearly ten years. Originally hailing from Minneapolis, he moved to L.A. in 1996 to attend USC, before working for various periodicals and web sites including a lengthy stint at He joined the HitFix staff in 2011.