‘The Help’ Cleans Up at the Box Office!

Disney’s acclaimed The Help produced by Dreamworks cleaned up at the box office this weekend with $20.5 million. After debuting in the second spot last weekend the film was number one in the midweek derby as great word-of-mouth continued to sweep the nation as the film ascended to the top of the chart and an impressive $71.8 million by Sunday night.

Fox’s late-summer hit Rise of The Planet of the Apes clung to the top rung at the box office for two consecutive weekends but in its third time out takes second place with $16.3 million for a total through Sunday of $133.8 million.

At number three, Weinstein Co.’s PG-rated Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D was the top family film in the marketplace earning $12 million in its debut. The latest installment of the successful franchise and brainchild of noted R-rated action director Robert Rodriguez and adds the novelty factor of a “fourth” dimension called Aroma-Scope that will enable an interactive scratch and sniff experience for the entire family.

A barbarian named Conan claims the fourth spot with Lionsgate’s remake of the 1982 fantasy epic Conan the Barbarian updating the tale in 3-D and a worthy Jason Momoa in the role that made Arnold Schwarzenegger a movie star. The film delivers the R-rated sword-and-sandal intensity to a new generation of action fans, who gave it an even $10 million this weekend.

Disney’s Fright Night, produced by Dreamworks, is a 3-D enhanced update of the 1985 horror film of the same name that blends elements of horror and comedy in the story of a teenager who suspects his neighbor is a vampire. The film finished its debut weekend in fifth place with $8.3 million. Horrible Bosses Colin Farrell takes on the vampire role, while Anton Yelchin who voices Clumsy in The Smurfs plays the suspicious teen.

Focus Features’ romantic drama One Day starring Anne Hathaway opened outside of the top five at number nine with $5.1 million.

A very tough weekend at the box office and the first “down” weekend in over a month as the “dog days of August” unfortunately took hold of a weak late-summer marketplace.

Weekend Box Office Estimates
Top Movies for Weekend of August 19, 2011
Movie Weekend Gross Total to Date
1 The Help (PG13) $20.5M $71.8M
2 Rise of the Planet of the Apes (PG13) $16.3M $133.8M
3 Spy Kids: All the Time in the World (PG) $12.0M $12.0M
4 Conan the Barbarian (R) $10.0M $10.0M
5 Fright Night (R) $8.3M $8.3M