The Box office results for the weekend of August 19th – 21st sees “The Help” tame Apes, Spy Kids, a Barbarian and some vampires. Meanwhile, the new releases all underwhelm. Here are the studio estimates:

1. The Help ($20.4 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 ($4.9 million)


The Help is cleaning up (yeah, I just used that cheap line) and DreamWorks is loving every minute of it. Dropping just 21% from its opening weekend is phenomenal in the summer season. Domestically this flick is up to $72 million and the studio is no longer concerned with the $25 million production budget (or marketing costs for that matter).

Of all the new guys, Spy Kids: All the Time in the World is in the best shape to earn a profit at theaters. With a thrifty budget of $27 million, the lowest opening in the four film franchise will be more palatable for the Weinstein Company. That said, the franchise from director Robert Rodriguez has obviously lost fans since the eight year layoff from the last sequel. This should be able to find an audience on DVD and On-Demand markets. However, it must be a concern that the target audience didn’t come out for the “4D” theater experience 3D glasses & scratch-n-sniff cards).

Fright Night’s performance will have some wondering if the critics matter anymore. The lovely writers lauded this remake for the most part, but that wasn’t enough to entice the finicky horror crowd to come check this out. Perhaps loyal horror fans were waiting to see if critics and word-of-mouth matched up before heading out to catch this sucker (pun intended). Either way, next weekend’s haul will determine the financial future for this $30 million product.

The Smurfs & Crazy, Stupid, Love currently hold the longest streak in the top ten with 4 weeks apiece. The former is up to $117 million on the domestic front, while the rom-com sits at $64 million.

Flop Alert: Conan the Barbarian. The remake that tried a last minute marketing campaign failed to carve out a respectable opening. In fact, the debut could be a death blow. Simply because this poorly reviewed piece rang up a $90 million production bill. Arnold Schwarzenegger is sleeping well tonight (or with someone).

Sleeper Hit: Rise of the Planet of the Apes, with a healthy assist from overseas markets, is going to workout for Twentieth Century Fox. With a $133 million domestically in the bag, the worldwide total has climbed to over $225 million.

One Day barley snuck into the top ten with a modest take from opening in 1,700 theaters. When factoring in the $15 million production budget, this might not be a such a black-eye on the balance sheet for Focus Features.

This Friday brings another decent sized crowd to the box office party. Colombiana, Our Idiot Brother & Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark are all going wide with very little promotion. Redemption Road and Brighton Rock will be playing in just a handful of markets. Reviews will be right here my fellow shockers!

Report by Joe Belcastro

The Help
The Help is cleaning up for DreamWorks.

By Joe Belcastro

Joe Belcastro is an established movie critic in Tampa, Florida. As a member of the Florida Film Critics Circle, most of his time is spent reviewing upcoming movies. He also covers news pertaining to the film industry, on both a local and national level as well as conducting interviews. To contact Joe Belcastro regarding a story or with general questions about his services, please e-mail him and/or follow him on Twiiter @TheWritingDemon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *