Apes rule the world -- the movie world, that is. "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" took in $54 million this week to open as the No. 1 movie in America, according to studio estimates Sunday.

The smash opening week for "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" was bigger than expected for the "Apes" series prequel, but it was below the $68.5 billion opening for Tim Burton's "Planet of the Apes" remake a decade ago.

The family movie "The Smurfs" was the number two grossing film last week, for the second straight week, with $21 million in box office sales. Thus far, "The Smurfs" has raked in $76.2 million at the box office.

"Cowboys & Aliens" was the third most popular film last week, taking in $15.8 million at the box office. The sci-fi Western had debuted at number one last week, narrowly beating "The Smurfs." But movie goers preferred "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" and "The Smurfs" this week.

Still, "Cowboys & Aliens" has taken in $67.4 at the box office thus far.

The comedy "The Change-Up" debuted at number four for the week, taking in $13.5 million at the box office.