The Rupert Wyatt-directed film, which stars James Franco and Andy Serkis, took $54m in its opening weekend following a positive critical reception.
Last week's joint box-office topper The Smurfs falls one place this weekend, taking $21m, while comic book adaptation Cowboys & Aliens fared slightly worse, taking $15.7m.
R-rated comedy The Change-Up opened to $13.5m, while Marvel Studios' Captain America: The First Avenger rounds out the top five with $13m.
This week, Transformers: Dark of the Moon became the third film of the year to surpass the $1 billion mark worldwide, while July 2011 now stands as the most lucrative month in box office history.
Next weekend sees the release of comedy drama The Help starring Emma Stone, and the latest entry in the long-running Final Destination franchise.
This week's US box office top ten in full (studio estimates):
1. (-) Rise of the Planet of the Apes - $54,000,000
2. (1) The Smurfs - $21,000,000
3. (1) Cowboys & Aliens- $15,748,000
4. (-) The Change-Up - $13,500,000
5. (3) Captain America: The First Avenger - $13,000,000
6. (4) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 - $12,160,000
7. (5) Crazy, Stupid, Love - $12,100,000
8. (6) Friends with Benefits - $4,700,000
9. (7) Horrible Bosses - $4,620,000
10. (8) Transformers: Dark of the Moon - $3,015,000
Watch the trailer for Rise of the Planet of the Apes below: