Weekend Box Office: Week-Old ‘Help’ Defeats Barbarians, Vampires, Spies and More

The top two films at the box office this week were also the top two films last week. After reigning for two-weeks in a row, ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ fell to second place as ‘The Help’ rose to first. Not a single one of the four new releases finished the weekend with more than $12.1 million. Ouch.

The most successful of this weekend’s openers was ‘Spy Kids: All the Time in the World‘. Neither the additional cost of 3D nor the draw of “4D” (which in essence turned ‘Spy Kids 4’ into ‘Scratch and Sniff: The Movie’) could raise the family film above third place. Since Robert Rodriguez’s homemade movies cost little to make (‘Spy Kids 4’ was made for $27 million), it won’t be long before ‘All the Time in the World’ is profitable.

On the flip side, the terribly-reviewed reboot of ‘Conan the Barbarian‘ somehow required a budget of $90 million. Considering the fantasy action flick opened in fourth place, earning only $10 million this weekend, ‘Conan’ isn’t likely to conquer anything –which may mean that Robert Rodriguez won’t be given the green light for his proposed ‘Red Sonja’ film.

But the most tragic opening of the weekend goes to Disney’s ‘Fright Night‘ remake. ‘The Smurfs’ actually beat out ‘Fright Night’ this weekend by $100,000. As the best-reviewed film opening this weekend (it scored a surprisingly fresh 74% on Rotten Tomatoes), it’s sad to see ‘Fright Night’ fall so hard. Predicted to earn $16.5 million this weekend, the film only earned $7.9 million. Another ouch.

‘Fright Night’, ‘Spy Kids’ and ‘Conan’ were all presented in 3D. While 61% of the income of ‘Conan’ and ‘Fright Night’ came from 3D presentations, ‘Spy Kids’ only drew in 44%.

Opening on almost half the number of the screens of the other nationwide releases, the romantic drama ‘One Day‘ debuted in ninth place with $5.1 million. Given that Focus Features put the film together for only $15 million, the $5.1 million opening wasn’t too terrible.

Top 10:

1. ‘The Help’ (Buena Vista) – $20,479,000

2. ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ (Fox) – $16,300,000

3. ‘Spy Kids: All the Time in the World’ (Weinstein/Dimension) $12,020,000

4. ‘Conan the Barbarian’ (Lionsgate) – $10,000,000

5. ‘The Smurfs’ (Sony) – $8,000,000

6. ‘Fright Night’ (Buena Vista) – $7,900,000

7. ‘Final Destination 5′ (Warner Bros.) – $7,705,000

8. ’30 Minutes or Less’ (Sony) – $6,300,000

9. ‘One Day’ (Focus) – $5,128,000

10. ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love’. (Warner Bros.) – $4,950,000


  1. I had a feeling that Fright Night would bomb when I saw it Saturday night. It was only on one screen in the multiplex, and the auditorium was barely half full at peak evening hours. I guess it wasn’t marketed well. It’s a shame, because the movie is a lot of fun.

    About the high 3D percentage, at least around here, the movie is ONLY playing in 3D. There are no 2D showings anywhere near me. I was basically forced to see it in 3D, and I don’t feel that it added much to this movie.

    • I thought the same thing when I searched for show times on imdb this weekend, but it had the 2D showings listed under the 1985 Fright Night for some reason. The theater on post where I work, however, is only showing the thing in 3D.

  2. Jane Morgan

    Those damned dirty apes have sexy legs.

    Worldwide ‘Rise’ is already up to $256M, which puts it in pure profit land and pretty much guarantees four sequels, a short break, and a new reboot.

    Last year, ‘Clash Of The Titans’ stole $330M from foreign markets. I wonder if Conan will flounder with his dialogue here, but kick genre ass, over the seas.

    And let’s have a moment of silence for ‘Cowboys & Aliens.’ Four weeks old is much too young to fall out of the Top 10.

  3. went and saw rise over the weekend, couldn’t convince my wife on conan plus it didn’t help that the 2d showings had terrible show times and didn’t play all throughout the day

    i’m not seeing it in 3d

  4. Wayne Rowe

    We were going to go see Conan Friday night, but the biggest theatre in town only had FOUR showings. Two in 2D and two in 3D. I hate 3D, so my only options were 11:15am or 4:50pm. WTF? I then widened my search, only to discover this was the case at practically every theatre in town. Smurfs, Cowboys & Suckass and Final Destination FIVE all had at least TWICE as many showtimes. I guess theatre owners were sweeping it under the rug before it even got out. (Not that I half expected the movie to be good, but I’m really surprised at how a $90 million flick got treated)

  5. Deaditelord

    Unfortunately, it doesn’t surprise me to hear Fright Night bombed. Fans of the original won’t see it because it’s a remake and the lack of 2D screenings means those who hate 3D will skip it too. I also felt Fright Night’s trailer didn’t sell the movie particularly well and the release date just stinks. At some point could a studio executive please explain to me the logic behind not releasing a vampire movie – or any monster movie for that matter – around Halloween?

    Finally, and as much as it pains me to say this, I have a feeling many people passed on Fright Night because it wasn’t Twilight. (heavy sigh)

  6. ilovenola2

    I believe that this simply proves that there actually IS an audience for films with substance. AND– that everyone is getting sick and tired of Hollywood regurgitating the same things over and over.
    When we were kids we went to see the same Roy Rogers/Jungle Jim, etc. films over and over. And they were rehashes of the same stories, etc. We still loved them.
    But then we grew up.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.