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Apes rule US box office for second week

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Story by Jack Foley

RISE of the Planet of the Apes has remained at the top of the US box office for a second week despite strong competition from Disney’s The Help.

Rupert Wyatt’s prequel, which surpassed expectation during its first weekend, has beaten the odds a second week in succession to remain at No.1 with a further $27.5 million.

Emma Stone starrer The Help, which is based upon a popular novel by Kathryn Stockett, also exceeded predictions in grossing $25.5 million for a second place finish.

The big flop of the weekend was Fox’s Glee: The 3D Concert Movie, which failed to even break the top 10 with just $5.7 million.

The 11th place finish is slightly offset by the fact the film only cost a modest $9 million to make – but Fox had been anticipating a sizeable hit based on the success of the TV show and the fact that the likes of Justin Bieber can also top the box office with concert films.

That said, Fox can still celebrate another weekend win thanks to its Apes success.

Rise of the Apes also broke the $100 million mark in the US and only saw a 50% drop off in audience attendance, prompting Chris Aronson – senior vice president of distribution – to comment: “It’s remarkable to only drop 50% and do $27.5 million wroth of business, despite $60 million worth of new movies coming into the marketplace. We have a movie that is a broad, mainstream commercial hit.”

Disney were also delighted with the performance of The Help, which follows the fortunes of white women and their maids in the south, saying that they couldn’t be happier with the result.

“It gives us a great deal of hope that more and more people will be exposed to it,” said Disney executive vice president of distribution Dave Hollis.

As well as Emma Stone, the film also boasts a strong female line-up of Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Bryce Dallas Howard and is being tipped as a potential Oscar contender.

Elsewhere at the US box office, two further new releases – Final Destination 5 and Ruben (Zombieland) Fleischer’s R-rated action-comedy 30 Minutes or Less – had mixed results.

Final Destination 5 opened at No. 3 with $18.4 million… a figure that was considerably lower than the last title in the franchise, The Final Destination, which debuted to $27.4 million in 2009.

30 Minutes or Less, starring Jesse Eisenberg, Aziz Ansari and Danny McBride, grossed $13 million for the weekend to place fifth.

Completing the top five, meanwhile, was Sony’s The Smurfs which took a further $13.5 million to slide to fourth.

Cowboys & Aliens added a further $7.6 million to slip out of the top five and finish sixth.

Next story: Andrew Garfield to make Broadway debut