Weekend Box Office: ‘Apes’ Need No ‘Help’ in Cheating Box Office Death

Considering how “blah” this weekend’s four new films appeared, it’s no surprise that ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ held onto the #1 box office spot for its second weekend. Neither a preachy women’s tale, a 3D horror flick, a comedic caper nor a 3D concert spin-off of a network TV show could prevent those apes from rising.

While ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes‘ came in first place with $27.5 million, ‘The Help‘ came in a close second with $25.5 million. That’s more than $5 million above predictions. Having opened on Wednesday, ‘The Help’ has accumulated $35.3 million in its first five days.

Despite earning only a 73% favorable rating on Rotten Tomatoes, ‘The Help’ somehow scored a rare A+ CinemaScore rating. You can’t go to a single entertainment site without reading about it. Yet even with the A+ and hoards of female book-club readers, ‘The Help’ couldn’t bring down its primate competition.

The negative reviews for ‘The Help’ all make the same complaints: It’s stereotypical, flat, insufficient, cluttered, condescending and fake – despite featuring a strong cast and noteworthy performances. The majority of the people falling head-over-heels for the film seem to be those who have read and loved the novel from which it’s based.

Opening nearly $10 million behind its last predecessor, ‘Final Destination 5‘ came in third with $18.4 million. Not only is the ‘FD5’ opening far behind that of ‘The Final Destination‘, it’s also nearly $3 million below studio predictions. Although ‘FD5’ may not be the biggest box office winner of the franchise, it does hold the highest Rotten Tomatoes rating of the five movies with 57%.

Director Ruben Fleischer’s first film since ‘Zombieland‘, ‘30 Minutes or Less‘ opened half of a million above studio predictions with $13 million. The comedic caper film opened right where expected, in the last spot rounding out the box office Top 5.

The most sour opening of the week goes to ‘Glee: The 3D Concert Movie‘. Predictions didn’t give it a rank in the line-up, but placed it in the $8 million range. Had ‘Glee’ actually opened with $8 million, it would have claimed the #6 spot. But pulling in only $5.7 million threw the concert movie into eleventh place instead. Considering that it opened on more than 2,000 screens and was only released in 3D (which costs more), it’s painful to see ‘Glee’ fall so hard. Mind you, I’m not a fan of ‘Glee’, but those numbers are sad. ‘Glee’ only averaged $2,794 per theater, while ‘Final Destination 5’, ‘The Help’ and ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ averaged between $5,000 to $10,000.

Numbers six through ten in the weekend box office all stand a chance to shift throughout the rank as the final numbers roll in this afternoon. ‘Cowboys & Aliens’, ‘Captain America’, ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love’., ‘The Change-Up’ and ‘Harry Potter’ all finished within a narrow $1.4 million range.

Surprisingly earning mention for its international merits is ‘Captain America: The First Avenger‘. Over the week, ‘Cap’ surpassed its $140 million budget and went on to pass the $150 million mark (on day 22). Due to its title containing the word “America” and being a red, white and blue patriotic film, ‘Cap’ wasn’t expected to do well overseas. According to The Hollywood Reporter, ‘Cap’ has been playing in 41 mostly-smaller territories. In the two weeks that it’s been open in those overseas markets, the film has already grossed over $100 million. In Mexico and Brazil, ‘Cap’ is performing better than fellow Marvel summer movie ‘Thor’ and is on track to finish on par with ‘X-Men: First Class’.

Top 10:

1. ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ (Fox) – $27,500,000

2. ‘The Help’ (Buena Vista) – $25,525,000

3. ‘Final Destination 5’ (Warner Bros./New Line) – $18,400,000

4. ‘The Smurfs’ (Sony) – $13,500,000

5. ’30 Minutes or Less’ (Sony) – $13,000,000

6. ‘Cowboys & Aliens’ (Universal) – $7,613,000

7. ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ (Paramount) – $7,125,000

8. ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love’. (Warner Bros.) – $6,930,000

9. ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2’ (Warner Bros) – $6,875,000

10. ‘The Change-Up’ (Fox) – $6,219,000


  1. i dont think those glee numbers are that bad considering the screens they put it on and the time of year. kids are saving money on clothes or going out to county fairs or actual concerts.

  2. Jane Morgan

    The international weekend box office is all smurfed up.

    $60M – The Smurfs
    $40M – Rise of the Planet of the Apes
    $30M – Harry Potter
    $14M – Green Lantern
    $13M – Cars 2
    $13M – Transformers 3
    $12M – Captain America
    $10M – Super 8
    $7M – Cowboys & Aliens
    $5M – Bridesmaids

    Congratulations to ‘Transformers 3,’ which is now #5 All Time Worldwide.

  3. “In Mexico and Brail, ‘Cap’ is performing better than fellow Marvel summer movie ‘Thor’ and is on track to finish on par with ‘X-Men: First Class’.”

    The movie is showing in Brail? Sounds like it may have a bumpy road ahead of it.

    I am a little surprised Glee did THAT bad. I wasn’t expecting a number one spot from it, but I was expecting, at least opening weekend, for it to place in the top 5.

    Maybe the network overestimated just how popular the show is. I honestly know no one who has ever seen it, or has a desire to see it. Maybe numbers like this will make the networks re-evaluate their polling data (or who they are polling). Surely, opening weekend numbers that bad could scare off advertisers to the show itself as well.

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