Bolstered by strong reviews, "The Rise of the Planet of the Apes" notched a solid $1.25 million in midnight showings on Friday, according to studio estimates.
The James Franco-led prequel offered late-night screenings in 1,124 locations. It will expand to 3,648 theaters in the U.S. and Canada over the weekend.
Numbers for those early a.m. showings compare favorably to the $700,000 Universal banked in midnight showings of "Cowboys & Aliens" at 1,200 locations last weekend. The graphic novel adaptation went on to make $36.4 million in its opening.
"Apes" does lag behind the late night debuts of the summer's crop of comic book movies, but most of those films debuted in at least 1,000 more locations.
Produced at a cost of $93 million, "Apes" is projected to earn north of $30 million in its opening.