"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" crushes industry expectations by grossing $73 million in its opening weekend. It easily claimed first place.

Thanks to 2014’s sixth-largest opening weekend, critical wonder “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” cruised to an easy victory at the weekend box office.

According to the latest estimates, the film earned $73.0 million from July 11 through July 13. Besting both industry estimates and the $54.8 million earned by 2011’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” the tally was enough to give “Dawn” a staggering margin in the weekend race.

“Transformers: Age of Extinction,” the number two film, earned just $16.5 million. Enough to send the latest “Transformers” past the $200 million mark (the film’s cumulative gross is now $209.0 million), it was not enough to put “Age of Extinction” in the same ballpark as “Apes.”

“Tammy” followed in third place with $12.9 million. A drop of only 40% from last week’s opening, the number represents impressive retention for a film that received abysmal reviews. The lack of new female and/or comedy fare likely played a role in producing the solid week two showing.

“22 Jump Street” ($6.7 million) and “How to Train Your Dragon 2” ($5.9 million) closed out the weekly top five.