the help box office Box office: 'The Help' moves up to No. 1, rough weekend for new movies“The Help” got some help from a weak crop of new releases and ascended to the top of the box-office rankings for the weekend of Aug. 19-21.

The drama starring Emma Stone and Viola Davis held onto its Friday lead and turned in a strong showing in its second weekend, earning an estimated $20.5 million. It fell only 21 percent from its opening weekend and has now made $71.8 million since its Aug. 10 opening.

“Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” which had been No. 1 for the past two weekends, fell one spot to second with an estimated $16.3 million. It’s also holding up pretty well, having dropped 41 percent from last weekend.

Then there were the new releases, none of which did much business — even though three of the four newcomers had a hefty percentage of their showings in 3-D, which means higher ticket prices. “Spy Kids: All the Time in the World” ($12 million) was the best of the bunch and finished third overall. It was followed by “Conan the Barbarian” ($10 million) and “Fright Night” ($8.3 million) in fourth and fifth.

The fourth newbie, “One Day,” earned $5.1 million and finished ninth. Its opening wasn’t quite as wide (1,721 theaters vs. 3,000-plus for the other new releases), but its per-theater average of $2,979 wasn’t especially strong.

The weekend’s Top 10 movies:

1. “The Help,” $20.5 million
2. “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” $16.3 million
3. “Spy Kids: All the Time in the World,” $12 million
4. “Conan the Barbarian,” $10 million
5. “Fright Night,” $8.3 million
6. “The Smurfs,” $8 million
7. “Final Destination 5,” $7.7 million
8. “30 Minutes or Less,” $6.3 million
9. “One Day,” $5.1 million
10. “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” $4.95 million

Posted by:Rick Porter