‘Apes’ Takes Top Spot Again with ‘Help’ Close Behind

It’s mid-August, the final leg of the summer movie season. While there were plenty of big hits – three movies hitting $1 billion worldwide – the biggest surprise of the summer came in the form of an ape-filled prequel: Rise of the Planet of the Apes. With an opening weekend no one expected ($54 million), and high praise from critics, Apes quickly became a must-see movie that most originally had no desire to see.

Apes did pretty decent numbers its second weekend (an estimated $27.5 million) maintaining the #1 spot even with a slew of new releases on the slate. The period drama The Help was another surprise. It opened in #2 with an estimated $25.5 million, which makes me wonder if people are starting to get tired of big effects films and are looking for stories and performances on the big screen once more.

Then we come to the other releases for the week of August 12. Final Destination 5 opened at #3 with a paltry $18 million, the lowest open for the franchise. Despite being the best-reviewed of the series, it still couldn’t compete with apes and a period drama. Is this the beginning of the end for the Final Destination films? I doubt it.

I do think that the series should become the “it” franchise of Halloween and take over where Saw once stood supreme. While Paranormal Activity currently holds the spot, I’m not really sure how many more “found footage” ghost movies audiences can take.

It does appear, however, that the Final Destination flicks make the majority of their money in the international market and through DVD and Blu-ray. So if this does well in other countries you can expect more gruesome death sequences from this fledgling series in the near future.

As for the other movies released this week: 30 Minutes or Less (#5) was rejected by most, taking in only $13 million (Smurfs beat it by half a million, coming in at #4). And apparently audiences stayed away from paying for something they can see for free each week on Fox since Glee The 3D Concert Movie opened in 11th place with $5.7 million.

R-rated comedies have had their definite ups and downs this summer. Aside from Bridesmaids and the over-hyped, highly disappointing Hangover 2, most in the genre only did moderately well. Right now, Horrible Bosses is the only other R-rated comedy of the summer to pass $100 million domestically (Bad Teacher is close with $97 million).

Could this be because the market was over-saturated with racy, profanity-laden, sex-filled, gross-out movies in a short period of time? It’s possible. Or perhaps audiences just weren’t interested in this crop of films. Still, it may also be the case that people were more interested in the bigger releases and are going to wait until these flicks come out on DVD and Blu-ray.

What movie has the potential to take down Apes at the box office? Leave a comment and let us know!

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