“The Help” needs none—it’s #1 at the weekend box office.
Buoyed by very strong word of mouth, Tate Taylor’s adaptation of the Kathryn Stockett bestseller about white women and their maids in Jim Crow Mississippi brought in $20.5 million in ticket sales. That makes it the rare movie to move up to No. 1.
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“The Help,” which stars Emma Stone, Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis, has grossed $71.3 million in its first 10 days in theaters, The Hollywood Reporter said. Its weekend take was only 21 percent less than in its debut.
"We hoped that ‘The Help’ would be a breath of fresh air at the end of a busy summer, and that has turned out to be the case," said executive Dave Hollis of Disney, which released the film. DreamWorks and Participant Media produced it.
The probing social drama switched places this weekend with “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” whose two-week reign ended as it placed second with $16.3 million. That represents a 41 percent (relatively small) decline from last weekend. The 17-day total: $133.8 million.
With those two movies continuing to do well, four new releases suffered.
The latest “Spy Kids” sequel from Robert Rodriguez and starring Jessica Alba, was third with $12 million.
The big-budget remake of “Conan the Barbarian” failed to slay audiences, placing fourth with $10 million. “Fright Night” was No. 5 with $8.3 million, and the Anne Hathaway late-summer romantic entry “One Day” was No. 9 with $5.1 million, although it only had a limited release.
Meantime, “The Smurfs” showed remarkable staying power. The movie took in another $8 million, for a domestic total of $117.7 million. And the blue creatures, now rendered in 3D, topped the international box office with $35.3 million, for a running total there of $211.4 million.