While the race ended up being much closer than anyone was expecting, Rise of the Planet of the Apes was able to hold onto the top spot at the box office this weekend with $27.83 million. Fox's science fiction franchise reboot fell a respectable 49 percent from last weekend. After showing some weakness during the midweek, Rise of the Planet of the Apes bounced back nicely over the weekend and is clearly more of a weekend film based on its performance thus far. Rise of the Planet of the Apes topped the $100 million mark on Sunday, which was the film's tenth day of release. The film continues to exceed expectations in a big way with a ten-day start of $105.21 million and could hold up much better going forward now that the initial rush-out of its built-in fanbase is out of the way.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes picked up the pace internationally this weekend with $40.8 million from 40 markets. That places the film's international total at $75.5 million and worldwide haul at $180.7 million. Key debuts included $9.6 million in the United Kingdom, $8.7 million in France and $4.7 million in Germany. The film grossed $3.3 million in its second weekend of release in Australia.
Also exceeding expectations in a big way this weekend was The Help. The Disney distributed film from DreamWorks starring Emma Stone grossed a terrific $26.04 million in its first weekend of release. After grossing an additional $9.87 million on Wednesday and Thursday, the film's five-day total stands at $26.04 million. With a five-day to three-day weekend ratio of just 1.38 to 1 and an opening weekend to Friday ratio of 3.41 to 1, The Help is already displaying great holding power (especially for a film based on a popular novel) thanks to especially strong word of mouth and from skewing heavily towards adult moviegoers. The Help is running a very impressive 39 percent ahead of the pace of 2009's Julie & Julia, which strongly suggests that the film is already a lock to reach the $100 million domestic mark. Look for The Help to hold up extremely well next weekend and throughout the rest of August.
Warner's Final Destination 5 landed in third place with $18.03 million. The fifth installment of the horror franchise debuted a bit below pre-release expectations, as fans of the franchise weren't in a hurry to see a second 3D installment. Final Destination 5 debuted 34 percent softer than the $27.41 million start of 2009's The Final Destination. The film opened much more along the lines of the $19.17 million debut of 2006's Final Destination 3 (which didn't have the benefit of higher priced 3D tickets). The audience breakdown for Final Destination 5 was evenly split between moviegoers 25 and under and those over 25. The film skewed more towards male moviegoers (54 percent), which was a reversal from the last installment, as the film's potential with female moviegoers clearly took a bit of a hit from the break-out performance of The Help.
Also opening below expectations was Sony's 30 Minutes or Less. The re-teaming of Zombieland star Jesse Eisenberg and director Ruben Fleischer landed in fifth with $13.33 million. While the film wasn't expected to match the $24.73 million start of Zombieland, it didn't even come close as it opened 46 percent softer. After a summer of over-performing comedies aimed at adult audiences, 30 Minutes or Less is the second disappointment in two weeks, joining Universal's The Change-Up, as audiences appear to have had their fill of comedies for the summer. 30 Minutes or Less skewed towards male audiences (58 percent) and skewed extremely heavily towards moviegoers under 25 (69 percent). Given that breakdown, the film looks to have lost some potential older moviegoers to The Help this weekend.
Fellow Sony release The Smurfs took fourth place with $13.73 million. The computer animated, live-action hybrid fell just 34 percent from last weekend. The film has clearly connected with its target family audience and is also being helped by the current lack of competition for that family audience. The Smurfs reached the $100 million domestic milestone on Sunday (its 17th day of release) and has now grossed $101.78 million to date. Internationally, The Smurfs grossed $60 million this weekend. That places the film's international total at $141 million and worldwide total at $242.8 million.
Fox's Glee: The 3D Concert Movie opened well below its modest pre-release expectations with an eleventh place start of just $5.96 million. The film grossed a so-so $2.73 million on Friday, but faded extremely quickly as the weekend went on and managed an opening weekend to Friday ratio of just 2.18 to 1. Clearly fans of the television series weren't willing to pay for a concert film, especially with the added 3D surcharge. In hindsight, opening against The Help also proved to be a poor decision; while a low-profile marketing campaign certainly didn't help either. Glee: The 3D Concert Movie skewed heavily towards both moviegoers under 25 (66 percent) and female moviegoers (79 percent). Internationally, the film grossed $1.2 million from a very limited launch, with $1.0 million of that total coming from Australia.
Additional reporting by Phil Contrino.
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