Weekend Box Office: Apes, Help

Films used to stay dominate in theaters for a long time, especially back in the days before home video, but in a summer where every weekend seems to bring another studio tentpole, Rise of the Planet of the Apes pulled a rare feat and stayed on top of the box office for a second week with $27.5 million. The new film was only the third movie of the summer to do so, after summer opener Thor and Independence Day weekend Transformers. Though the film experienced a 50% drop off, that was not as steep as other summer sequels like X-Men: First Class.

The other big winner this weekend was The Help, which brought in $25.5 million in its first weekend. This put the movie ahead of the last two August female-driven book adaptations, Julie and Julia ($20 million) and Eat, Pray, Love ($23 million), both of which had bigger star power headlining. This is extra impressive since the film actually opened last Wednesday (our review) and has taken in a quick $35 million in its first five days. Because the film is skewing toward an older demographic than most summer films, plan on this one hanging around for a few weeks, especially given the Oscar buzz already being generated.
Debuted this week was Final Destination 5, which opened to a franchise-falling $18.4 million. While it experienced the highest 3D to 2D ratio of the summer (75% of the gross was from 3D), the overall take was lackluster. This is what happens when you market the movie as more of the same…after you promised the 2009 installment was the last film in the series.

Next weekend seems wide-open, so tune in here Monday morning to see the showdown between the Conan reboot, the Fright Night remake, and Spy Kids 4D!