8.12-14.2011: Weekend Box Office – The $

It’s a rarity in the summer for any movie to stay in the top spot for more than one weekend with Thor (May 6th & 13th) and Transformers: Dark of the Moon (July 1st & 8th) being the exceptions up until now.  Last week’s premiere of Rise of the Planet of the Apes surprised critics and fans, old and new, and is doing it again this week with James Franco and his primate frenemies.  New to the box office block are #2 The Help ($26.044 million), starring the ever-so-busy Emma Stone (also in #9 Crazy, Stupid, Love), Final Destination 5 and #5 30 Minutes or Less ($13.33 million) with the crazy funny quartet of Jesse Eisenberg, Aziz Ansari, Danny McBride and Nick Swardson.  The sequeled The Smurfs ($13.733 million) fell two spots to #4.

With no real summer blockbuster competition, #1 Rise of the Planet of the Apes continued its domination of Earth and the box office, grossing $27.832 million.  Though the Apes reboot received 43 additional theater screens, it couldn’t stop the 49.2% decrease in viewers.  Fortunately, the movie has bested its $93 million budget and is at a worldwide gross of $179.608 million.  It looks as if next week will see a new movie in the #1 spot with remakes Conan the Barbarian with Jason Mamoa or Fright Night with Colin Farrell.

The fifth and possibly last (that’s what they said about The Final Destination) movie of the series, Final Destination 5 entered the chart at #3, a much different result than its predecessor but not the original.  The domestic-only release of the horror movie grossed $18.031 million, which is a significant decline when compared to the FD4 as it brought in $27.408 million in 2009.  FD5 benefited from 3D, just like FD4 (the first in the series to be released in 3D), with an estimated 75% of its opening weekend gross going to 3D screenings.

Cowboys & Aliens, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and Captain America: The First Avenger started off the second half of the top ten.  Jon Favreau’s Cowboys & Aliens dropped three to #6, bringing in $7.811 million.  The sci-fi Western just began its release overseas with an estimated $7 million over the weekend.  But will it help the ‘difficult to sell’ genre to reach its $163 million budget?  #7 Harry Potter 8 (but book #7) is slowly making its way down the chart with $7.251 million in its fifth weekend.  These “little” bits of grosses are contributing to the $1.215 billion of the finale…oh, what a way to say farewell.  Chris Evans as #8 Captain America: The First Avenger is proving to be a success with Marvel fans both domestic ($7.21 million) and international with a worldwide gross of $285.271 million.  If the audience interest and box office numbers for Thor and Captain America are this high, just imagine what it will be like for next summer’s The Avengers.

Check out ‘What To Watch – Theater Edition’ this Friday for this week’s new movie releases….it’s a remake weekend with a new but more true to the Robert E. Howard books barbarian and an actor making adult vampires sexier than his teen counterpart.

Feed me at sharon@horrorhaven.com

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