‘Apes’ Rise Against Four Newcomers

Twentieth Century Fox’s Rise of The Planet of the Apes last week opened with a much better than expected $54.8 million and with great word-of-mouth and strong mid-week numbers posted a solid second weekend of $27.5 million to hold the top spot.  This gives the simian rebels over $100 million in banana powered revenue after just 10 days of release and makes it one of the few certified hits of the late summer.

Disney’s acclaimed The Help is based upon the best-selling novel of the same name written by Kathryn Stockett who met writer-director Tate Taylor when they were 5 years old.  Starring Emma Stone, Viola Davis and a terrific ensemble cast, The Help is certain to enjoy long term box office success and much attention come awards season. The film earned $25.5 million for the weekend and over $35 million in its first five days.

Final Destination 5 in 3-D will again draw audiences looking for the vicarious thrill of watching other human being dispatched in the most creative and often brutal way imaginable.  The franchise has killed it pretty consistently at the box office with 2009’s “The Final Destination” in 3-D taking $27.4 million in its debut.  The Warner Bros. release slaughtered $18.4 million this weekend and continues in the murderous tradition of the first film which debuted over a decade ago. IMAX also added its boost to the box office with the tagline “experience death on a whole new scale” to intrigue audiences.

Sony Animation’s The Smurfs has been a family favorite since its debut enjoyed a solid third weekend of $13.5 million, passing the $100 million mark on Sunday. Overseas the film has been a smash taking in $60 million this weekend for an international total of $141 million and worldwide revenues of $242 million.  Now a box-office force to be reckoned with, Sony has announced a Smurfs sequel set for release on Aug. 2, 2013.

Sony’s 30 Minutes or Less rounds out the top 5 stealing $13 million in its debut.  This is the seventh R-rated comedy to be released this summer and stars The Social Network’s Jesse Eisenberg as a pizza delivery guy who has a bomb strapped to his chest and is forced to rob a bank.  Also starring Aziz Ansari and Danny McBride the film attracted a 58% male and 42% female audience with a majority of that audience under 25. 

Fox’s newcomer Glee: The 3-D Concert Movie based on the hit TV show from Twentieth Century Fox debuted just outside of the top 10 in the eleventh spot with $5.7 million thus proving the unpredictable nature of the target teen audience.

The fifth consecutive “up” weekend vs. last year puts us on track to wind up the summer season on a high note with just three weekends to go.

Weekend Box Office

Top Movies for Weekend of August 12, 2011

    Movie     Weekend Gross     Total to Date

1     Rise of the Planet of the Apes (PG13)     $27.5M     $104.9M

2     The Help (PG13)     $25.5M     $35.4M

3     Final Destination 5 (R)     $18.4M     $18.4M

4     The Smurfs (PG)     $13.5M     $101.5M

5     30 Minutes or Less (R)     $13.0M     $13.0M