Weekend Box-Office: August 19-21, 2011

We're a movin' on up...

It's extremely rare that a film won't open in 1st place on its initial weekend of release, but then actually move up to #1 after that, but this weekend THE HELP did just that, as it had opened in 2nd place last week behind RISE OF THOSE CRAZY MONKEYS, but finally managed to knock the APES out of the top spot after two straight weekends at #1. THE HELP obviously has been getting a lot of tremendous "word of mouth" and only lost about 20% of its audience from last weekend. Mind you, the APES still fared pretty well in 2nd place with another $16M added to its total, which is now closing in on the $135M mark after only three weeks of release (currently in 13th place for 2011).

Ironically, four new movies were released over the past weekend, yet none of them managed to crack the top 2 spots from the top 10. In fact, it was the 4th installment of the SPY KIDS series that managed the "best" opening of all the releases, with $12M in receipts and a 3rd place finish. That figure was about 1/3 of what the previous SPY KIDS film had opened with back in 2003 ($33M) and that's despite both the 3D and smell-O-vision "add-ons" this time around. Unfortunately for director Robert Rodriguez, this franchise seems played out at this point, despite his low-budget scheme to make them.

The "reboot" of the CONAN THE BARBARIAN franchise also seems to have failed, despite its $10M gate and 4th place opening. Unfortunately for that film, it apparently cost about $90M to make, so unless it makes tremendous dollars overseas, I think it will likely stall at this one movie in the imagined "reboot". FRIGHT NIGHT, despite its overwhelmingly positive reviews, also doesn't seem to have connected with audiences in late August, as it only managed about $8M, which was only a few grand over FINAL DESTINATION 5 right below it in 7th place.

Somewhat surprisingly, the Anne Hathaway-starring romance ONE DAY received the worst critical notices of the weekend, and only managed a 9th place opening. Yipes! With the summer season winding down, the 4 films to get kicked out of the top 10 this weekend included HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 2 ($366M), COWBOYS & ALIENS ($89M), CAPTAIN AMERICA ($165M) and THE CHANGE-UP ($32M).

With the final weekend of August and first weekend of September generally representing a good time for studios to "dump" films of which they are not very proud, it'll be interesting to see how Luc Besson's COLOMBIANA does next weekend ("from the makers of THE PROFESSIONAL comes...another ripoff of THE PROFESSIONAL!!"), Guillermo del Toro's DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK (Note: neither Luc nor Guillermo directed their respective movies), as well as the Paul Rudd-starring OUR IDIOT BROTHER. Since there don't appear to be any groundbreaking films coming out in the next two weeks, I guess we can finally ask you the big question: what was your favorite movie this summer? VOTE HERE!!!

1. The Help $20.5 M $71.8 M
2. Rise of the Planet of the Apes $16.3 M $133.7 M
3. Spy Kids: All the Time in the World $12 M
4. Conan the Barbarian $10 M
5. The Smurfs $8 M $117.7 M
6. Fright Night $7.9 M
7. Final Destination 5 $7.7 M $32.3 M
8. 30 Minutes or Less $6.3 M $25.7 M
9. One Day $5.1 M
10. Crazy Stupid Love $4.9 M $64.4 M




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