Box office report: 'Apes' stays in first with $27.5 mil, and 'The Help' opens strongly to $25.5 mil


Image Credit: Joe Lederer

In a crowded field that featured four new movies, last week’s winner, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, managed to keep its top spot on the box-office chain by recruiting $27.5 million. Fox’s sci-fi action film dropped 50 percent in its second weekend. That’s a decent hold, as most summer action flicks decline 55 to 60 percent. Apes will cross the $100 million mark today and has already surpassed its relatively modest $90 million production budget. As a result, it’s looking likely that we’ll be seeing more of Caesar the chimpanzee (and less of the human race) in the future.

Not far behind was The Help, which surprised the industry with a substantial $25.5 million. Disney released the PG-13 drama on Wednesday in an attempt to build buzz heading into the weekend. That strategy seems to have paid off. The Help, based on Kathryn Stockett’s bestselling novel and starring Viola Davis, Emma Stone, Octavia Spencer, and Bryce Dallas Howard, grossed a combined $9.9 million on Wednesday and Thursday — boosting its five-day total to $35.4 million. It also garnered a rare A+ rating from CinemaScore audiences, which means the film should be benefiting from exceptional word of mouth. Adult women were the driving force behind the $25 million movie’s success this weekend. According to Disney, 74 percent of the audience was female and 60 percent was over the age of 35.

The Help may have won the weekend had it not been released early, but I doubt Disney is regretting its decision. Even without its additional revenue from Wednesday and Thursday, the movie opened stronger than both Eat Pray Love ($23.1 million) and Julie & Julia ($20 million) — two prior August releases that were also big hits with female moviegoers. If The Help‘s word of mouth is as flattering as CinemaScore says it is, the picture could very well become a $100 million smash.

Third place went to Warner Bros.’ Final Destination 5 with $18.4 million. That’s a considerable drop from the last Destination movie, 2009’s The Final Destination, which debuted to $27.4 million. Still, Final Destination 5 cost only $40 million to produce and received a fairly good B+ grade from CinemaScore viewers. One thing worth noting is that 75 percent of the film’s opening came from 3-D theaters, indicating that audiences will still pay for 3-D when they believe the movie warrants the extra dimension. Apparently Death is even more frightening while wearing glasses.

Sony’s dark comedy 30 Minutes or Less debuted in fifth with a middling $13 million. Ever since The Hangover Part II was released in late May, every new R-rated comedy has opened to a smaller amount than the one before it. 30 Minutes or Less continued the trend by falling short of last week’s The Change-Up, which mustered $13.5 million. Perhaps American audiences are starting to tire of raunchy comedies. CinemaScore audiences handed 30 Minutes or Less, which stars Jesse Eisenberg and Aziz Ansari, a merely okay B rating. The $28 million movie particularly appealed to young men, with 58 percent of its audience male and 69 percent under the age of 25.

And in 11th place was the week’s fourth new release, Glee: The 3D Concert Movie, which earned a paltry $5.7 million. The Fox movie was extremely front-loaded, falling 37 percent from Friday to Saturday. Those who paid to see the New Directions on the big screen were mostly young women. According to CinemaScore, 82 percent of the audience was female, and 66 percent was too young to rent a car. However, the Gleeks liked what they saw, as CinemaScore graders gave it a solid A rating. The PG movie, which cost just $8.5 million to produce, is currently playing in only 3-D theaters during its exclusive two-week run.

Among holdovers, The Smurfs declined a mere 35 percent for $13.5 million. Like Apes, the movie should cross $100 million today. Check back next week as Hollywood unleashes four more new films: the action remake Conan the Barbarian, the horror remake Fright Night, the romance One Day, and the olfactory assault Spy Kids: All the Time in the World.

1. Rise of the Planet of the Apes — $27.5 mil
2. The Help — $25.5 mil
3. Final Destination 5 — $18.4 mil
4. The Smurfs — $13.5 mil
5. 30 Minutes or Less — $13.0 mil

Comments (118 total) Add your comment
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  • Rachel Valance

    Rise of the Planet of the Apes is No. 1 once again. Armenian icon Andy Serkis is the undisputed star of the film and his artistic ability comes from his Armenian heritage.

    • George

      How does being Armenian, African, American, British, French, Spanish, etc. make you a better artist? It doesn’t. He is a great artist because he is a great artist. Not because of his nationality. Grow up.

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    • LOL

      Seriously Rachel? wow…WHO CARES? any one can do monkey tricks and act retarded you dumb ho.

      • Barry

        You sure can with your dumba$$ comments.

    • Allen

      Honestly Rachel, I can’t believe you even made that comment. Everyone knows that that heritage of the artist makes absolutely no sense unless he or she is playing a fictional character like Heimdall or Spiderman or Alex Cross… sheesh…

    • LOL

      America loves monkey crap.

    • Doro

      Rachel is a Troll.. He/she posts the same thing in other movie sites

    • andy

      i knew Armenians were extra hairy, but come on…

      • Kenan

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    • heliocracy

      STFU emmasmile

    • Obvious Man Says

      He’s Armenian? Really??? Damn, that changes everything….I wish I hadn’t seen Rise of the Planet of the Apes now.

    • AK

      So why didn’t that work out for the Kardashians then?

      • Anilton

        Yes, She had her nose done (Nose Job), it look to hight for me when i saw her out side and she had a very very bad attitude. Just be hsnoet.

  • Karl Bourbon

    The ultra-gorgeous Dianna Agron is the best thing about Glee and the only reason I’ve watched it.
    There are so many z-lister prima donnas on that show who will be doing straight to DVD and television movies when Glee is cancelled but she isn’t one of them.

    • Captain

      I like Dianna Agron a lot as a person but come on, her looks are the primary reason for her success. She’s a mediocre actress and an even more mediocre singer. There are plenty of girls on that show that have much brighter futures than Dianna.

      • Jeffrey

        Lol, exactly. She’s a pretty girl but other than that, she’s a mediocre actress AT BEST, and her singing talent is subpar. She’s hardly the breakout star of Glee and she’s irrelevant unless her name is attacted to Lea Michele’s (I say that because whenever the Dianna is talked about its never non-glee related or non-Lea related, idk maybe I don’t see enough interviews). And I Am Number 4 SHOULD’VE went straight to DVD, everything about that movie was horrible, plot, acting, everything. If anything Lea will be the breakout, she’s on every magazine known to man, on my televison everytime I turn around, and nice to look at herself. So, there you go.

      • Dawn

        Meh. She should lay off the coke then.

    • Wow

      I’ve seen this same post on different sites and people rarely agree. Are you a super stan? Or part of her PR team? Either way, how embarrassing for you. And her. You’re doing more damage than good.

  • Q

    Curious, what about the Glee movie needed to be in 3D? It’s a concert movie. To anyone who saw it, please enlighten me as to what about a concert movie is in 3D.

    • Captain

      There were certain moments where the actors reached out into the crowd and it felt like they were reaching out to you, that was cool–but for the most part it was pointless. They did almost nothing with the technology and pretty much shot it in 3D just to add to the ticket prices. The only true stand-out moment where the 3D is used in a really cool way is during the credits where they have slushies being hurled at your face.

    • @Q

      It was in 3D so they would have the excuse to charge higher ticket prices.

    • Marcie

      Also, sometimes hands went up in the foreground and it felt like we were actually in the concert’s audience, but in general it was pointless. I think the movie would have done better if it hadn’t been in 3D or if the viewers had had a choice.

    • PN

      I was surprised that Glee 3D The Concert Movie underperformed and finished in 11th place. They hyped that movie for over a week or so, as early as August 1st to 5th for that Aug 12th release. I think the high ticket price turned off some folks–couldn’t it have been a regular concert movie instead of the 3D treatment? You didn’t see Justin Bieber do that with his own concert movie.

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  • JPX

    I’m so pleased that Glee failed. America doesn’t always love crap.

    • LOL

      America can be proud this week for a change. Most of the crap was flushed.

      • LOL

        Notice I said “most,” but not all.

      • JPX


      • LOL

        Still nothing that equals the brilliance of Fast Five, as one of EW’s own critics said, it was just a “pitch perfect” film.

    • Woot

      You mean the concert movie that practically cost nothing to make, and was only released as a way to market the show? Yup a complete failure. Don’t get me wrong, I would never pay to see the movie… but it is what it is and it did it’s job.

      • excuses

        I guess it’s not doing a good job of marketing the show if it only grossed 5 million when the other concert films have grossed at least 20 million on opening weekend.

  • m1

    Out of next week’s releases, One Day and Fright Night look like the only ones worth seeing.

    • Sith Lord J

      Next week CONAN will crush all enemies.

  • EllOhEll

    CinemaScore is the stupidest thing ever. I can’t believe that EW puts weight in it.

    • Wes

      Cinema Score ratings can be an indication of positive word of mouth or good buzz, but it is certainly and inexact science.

    • George

      Totally agree! They poll the most populated or random areas

  • rerun

    I hate how every week EW states: “Perhaps American audiences are starting to tire of raunchy comedies.” Maybe we just want to see good comedies? The Change Up was really week and 30 Minutes looks okay, but not something I have to pay $8 to see.

    • Captain

      I think there is some relevence to what they’re saying although it’s getting tiresome. R-Rated comedies seemed to go from “box office gold” to “disappointments” in just a matter of weeks. Yes, it seems the weaker comedies have been released in the past two months but I’m starting to wonder if Bad Teacher would have done so well had it premiered in August.

      • Z

        Bad Teacher actually looked funny, though. Everytime the trailer popped up in a theater, most people were laughing. When the trailer for The Change Up would come on, it was crickets.

    • thin

      Boy, do I ever agree with you on this. Sometimes films do well or fail based on their own merits and advertising campaigns rather than whether or not they belong to a genre that is trending a certain way. The Change-Up didn’t look good, and the trailer was loaded with scenes that felt extremely predictable after being introduced to the characters and their situation. I may be going out on a limb here, but I think that probably factored a little more heavily in its performance than whether or not it was in the “R-rated raunchy comedy” club.

    • PN

      I think that the raunchy comedies coming just one week after each other this summer is just a little too much–they should have spread them 28 days apart, not 7 days to cut down on the sameness factor. I saw The Change-Up yesterday and most of it was AWFUL! The gross out scenes and Ryan Reynolds’ foul, filthy language was a little too over the top for me. Even switching Jason Bateman and Ryan’s characters felt too warped and made the movie a struggle to watch sometimes. Sometimes it was funny, and sometimes I was going what is going on here?!

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    • L

      IKR. There are actually many factors contributing to these movies not doing as well as the ones that came out during the summer. I would say the biggest one is that The Change Up looked terrible, and 30 Minutes or Less looked pretty bad as well when compared to the R rated comedies that came out this summer. Not to mention it’s the end of the summer, and people aren’t going to be going to the movies as much anyway.

  • Rachel Maddow’s Future Husband

    I’ll bet it was mostly the stupid Fox News viewers that went to see The Help. They love movies that feature black people needing help and it takes white people to come and save them.

    • Andy

      Wow. So stupid on so many levels.

    • RSVP

      What? “The Help” is fictional but truthful as it depicts some southern well-to-do women who employed black maids before Martin Luther King. The movie concentrates on the strength of black women when they began to seek true equality, and the white women’s eyes were opened to traditional prejudices. I am white and southern and regret that the USA has slavery in its history. Each person today, black or white, has a right and, frankly, a responsibility to better themselves, regardless of their color. No more blame or excuses. The doors have opened.

    • LiLi

      That was pretty lame. I saw the film, am AA and thought the movie was anything BUT the need for the maids to be “saved.”

      Change your screenname, Rachel would only want intelligence.

  • scorpio9094

    I don’t waste my hard earned money on movies that can be just as entertaining on the small screen. Movies like Avatar are better seen at the movies. I can wait for the comedies on tv.

  • LOL

    I love ‘cowboys and indians’ best movie of year next to the epic ‘fast five’ which surely will garner technical Oscar noms!!! AMERICA LOVES CRAP…but less so this week!

    • LOL

      Nevermind, I just watched fast five again and realized its crap too.

    • LOL

      You mean Cowboys and Aliens?

  • LOL

    Nobody wants to waste their time and money on stupid Glee. It’s horrible enough that it airs on television. Yuck! nasty lesbian…

  • LOL

    I’m ready for Pac-Man the movie!!!!!!!! Who wouldn’t pay $8 to go see a yellow circle munch dots for two hours? Has to be better than Stupid Glee

    • Dave

      Only if it’s in 3D!

  • LOL

    I hate myself.

    • LOL

      Loved planet of the apes! America doesn’t love crap afterall!

  • Dumbledore Fluffernutter

    Don’t rely on the exit poling for The Help. You can give give women a steaming pile with Sandra Bullock or Julia Roberts and they’d give it an A+. Not being misogynistic- just being truthful.

    • Sandra

      Truth is only relative to the person speaking it. The rest of us might see it a little different.

  • Dumbledore Fluffernutter

    Glee in 11th place- ROFL! Don’t quit your day jobs, freaks.

    • Larry

      And yet you still mentioned it. Don’t you know good publicity is just as good as bad? Your giving these people more attention, I bet you watch Jersey Shore, and the Kar-trashians too.

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