Sunday, August 14, 2011

Weekend Report: 'Apes' Cling to Top Spot, 'Help' Cleans Up


Rise of the Planet of the Apes fended off an onslaught of four new nationwide releases to top the weekend box office again. The Help won the debut dust-up, blind-siding a tepid Final Destination 5, while 30 Minutes or Lessand Glee The 3D Concert Movie floundered.

Descending 50 percent, Rise of the Planet of the Apespacked an estimated $27.5 million. Though steep, the sci-fi thriller's second weekend slide was less severe thanPlanet of the Apes (2001)I, RobotG.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and X-Men: First Class, among comparable titles. With a $104.9 million haul in ten days,Rise is tracking ahead of fellow 20th Century Fox prequel/reboot X-Men: First Class ($98 million) and has out-grossed most of its key comps through the same point, aside from the last Planet remake's $123.7 million (or $174.2 million normalized for ticket-price inflation).

The Help picked up an estimated $25.5 million on approximately 3,100 screens at 2,534 locations, exceeding the debuts of the major female-driven book adaptations of the last two Augusts, Julie & Julia ($20 million) and Eat Pray Love ($23.1 million). Help has shown even greater initial popularity, since it opened on Wednesday, unlike those two movies, and has tallied $35.4 million in five days.

In third place, death started to take the Final Destinationfranchise, which saw one of its sequels open lower than a predecessor for the first time. Final Destination 5 drew an estimated $18.4 million on close to 4,600 screens at 3,155 locations, and an estimated 75 percent of the gross was from 3D presentations on 2,800 screens at 2,515 locations. Predecessor The Final Destination, also in 3D, debuted to $27.4 million in Aug. 2009, but FD5's estimated attendance was the worst of the franchise, slotting just below the first movie.

The Smurfs collected an estimated $13.5 million and boasted the smallest percentage drop among nationwide holdovers (35 percent). With a $101.5 million total in 17 days, it has exceeded nearly all recent talking-critter comedies through the same point, excluding the Chipmunks.

Rounding out the Top Five, 30 Minutes or Less mustered an estimated $13 million on around 3,100 screens at 2,888 locations, which paled relative to Zombieland's $24.7 million first weekend. The action comedy's start was more in the league of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Observe and Report and a far cry from Pineapple Express.

Glee: The 3D Concert Movie ranked 11th with an estimated $5.7 million at 2,040 3D locations, which was less than half of even Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience among comparable titles.

The movies ranked No. 6 through No. 9, Cowboys & AliensCaptain America: The First AvengerCrazy, Stupid, Love. and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, were all within $750,000 of each other, ranging from $7.6 million (Cowboys) to $6.9 million (Harry). All continued down their expected paths, andCaptain crossed the $150 million milestone (in 22 days).

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