With just about everyone talking about The Help this week, it’s no surprise the heavy drama took the number one spot at the box office Aug. 19-21, 2011. Rise of the Planet of the Apes slipped to second, while new contenders Conan the Barbaria, Fright Night, Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World and One Day showed little to no fight.
With the new arrivals lacking fight, The Help cleaned up, climbing from second place to take the top spot this weekend. The additional $20.5 million in ticket sales puts the racially-motivated drama at $71.8 million in 12 days.
With it’s controversial subject matter, the female-driven book adaptation starring Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard, Sissy Spacek and Allison Janney is not only inspiring racial discource and Oscar rumblings, but is also delivering better numbers than the adaptations Julie & Julia and Eat Pray Love.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes was pushed back to second, but managed to hold out for another week near the top. The $16.3 million weekend pushed the blockbuster to $133.8 million in North America. The Apes also came in second on the international market for a worldwide bank of $256.5 million and counting.
New releases Conan the Barbarian and Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World premiered in the top five, but neither film showed much fight. The Joel McHale, Jessica Alba and Jeremy Piven family action flick took third with $12 million, making ground on its $27 million budget, at least. Jason Momoa’s serious guns and 3D ticket prices couldn’t pound out more than $10 million, making Conan a $90 million epic fail.
The Smurfs closed out the top five, while continuing to dominate the world. The little blue guys banked an additional $8 million in North America and also added $35.3 million from overseas markets. The remake has made $117.7 million stateside, $329.1 worldwide.
Fright Night had a truly frightful opening. Despite some positive buzz for vampy Colin Farrell, the horror remake ultimately didn’t have enough bite to make the top five. It came in sixth with $7.9 million.
Final Destination 5 continued its mediocre run, falling from last week’s spot in the top three all the way to seventh with an additional $7.7 million. Jesse Eisenberg, Aziz Ansari and Danny McBride‘s heist comedy 30 Minutes or Less took eighth with $6.3 million. Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess‘s romantic drama One Day premiered to $5.1 million for ninth place. Crazy, Stupid, Love banked another $5 million to close out the top ten.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II was pushed out of the North American top ten, but continued to rock the world. International sales hit the $900 million mark on Sunday, for a total bank of $1.266 billion worldwide, so far. The only other films to hit that mark are James Cameron‘s Avatar and Titanic.
Next weekend, three new potential heavy weights hit the screen, along with a slew of indy films. Zoe Saldana seeks vengeance in Luc Besson’s Colombiana; Guillermo del Toro puts Katie Holmes through the ringer in Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark; and Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel and Emily Mortimer put up with Paul Rudd‘s antics in Our Idiot Brother.
Box Office Report: August 19-21, 2011
1. The Help $20.5 million
2. Rise of the Planet of the Apes $16.3 million
3. Spy Kids: All the Time in the World $12 million
4. Conan the Barbarian (2011) $10 million
5. The Smurfs $8 million
6. Fright Night (2011) $7.9 million
7. Final Destination 5 $7.7 million
8. 30 Minutes or Less $6.3 million
9. One Day $5.1 million
10. Crazy, Stupid, Love. $5 million