BOX OFFICE: ‘Apes’ Fights Off Four New Releases to Remain on Top

Despite dropping nearly 50% in its second week, Rupert Wyatt’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes remains in first place at the weekend Box Office beating out newcomers The Help, Final Destination 5, 30 Minutes or Less, and Glee the 3D Concert Movie. Overall Box Office numbers were down 10.9% from last weekend, according to Box Office Mojo, for the fourth straight weekend of decline. Summer is nearly over and the Box Office numbers reflect that.

Box Office Estimates
August 12-14, 2011

1) Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2nd Weekend)
ESTIMATE: $27.5 million

Breaking the $100 million mark this weekend this film has already earned back its $93 million budget just in domestic ticket sales. Word of mouth will likely propel it to a few more successful weekends as people clutch to hang on to summer by revisiting the last major blockbuster.

2) The Help (Opening)
ESTIMATE: $25.525 million

The Help actually crushed Rise of the Planet of the Apes in per theatre average, but because it is on over 1,000 fewer screens it did not win the overall race. It’s unclear how this movie will fare in the long-term. It has a fantastic “A+” rating from CinemaScore, meaning word of mouth is incredibly positive. That alone should propel it to a few successful weekends.

3) Final Destination 5 (Opening)
ESTIMATE: $18.4 million

I will never understand the fascination with this franchise as I personally have no interest in paying money to watch people die in creative ways. However, millions apparently disagree with me as the film had a modestly impressive opening weekend. It will probably face pretty quick declines in the coming weeks, however.

4) The Smurfs (3rd Weekend)
ESTIMATE: $13.5 million

When this movie came out I predicted it would have an Alvin and the Chipmunks trajectory where it does not stay at the top of the Box Office, but it quietly remains around the top five until all of the sudden it has earned $180 million. The Smurfs won’t be seeing quite the same success, but it’s already passed $100 million.

5) 30 Minutes or Less (Opening)
ESTIMATE: $13 million

I think that R-rated comedy fatigue is definitely setting in as this summer has been packed with them and most have been stinkers. This film beat out The Smurfs in per theatre average, but I don’t expect it to stick around the top ten for too much longer.

6) Cowboys & Aliens (3rd Weekend)
ESTIMATE: $7.61 million

This movie had the second lowest per theatre average of any film in the top  ten this week. When it gets a theatre count decrease it will have a major drop off and could be out of the top ten within two weeks.

7) Captain America: The First Avenger (4th Weekend)
ESTIMATE: $7.125 million

This Marvel franchise film is still about $24 million behind Thor, but has passed X-Men: First Class to become the second highest grossing superhero movie of the summer. It has also narrowly cracked the top ten highest grossing movies of the summer.

8) Crazy, Stupid, Love (3rd Weekend)
ESTIMATE: $6.93 million

With a cumulative gross of $55 million so far, Crazy, Stupid, Love has not done too poorly for a romantic comedy. It will probably drop out of the top ten next weekend as it faces a theatre count decline, but it still could get up to $70 million before its time is done.

9) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (5th Weekend)
ESTIMATE: $6.875 million

As expected the final Harry Potter film did not have enough staying power to break any all-time Box Office records. However, it made enough money from its opening weekend to help boost it to the number one grossing movie of 2011. Currently at $356 million it could reach $380 before its time is completely done.

10) The Change-Up (2nd Weekend)
ESTIMATE: $6.22 million

With a drop of 54% in its second weekend, The Change-Up is the biggest loser this week. It’s cumulative gross is barely over $25 million and it will probably earn less than $40 million when its time is all done. That does not quite make it to its $52 million budget.

Look for Spy Kids: All the Time in the World to draw in the family audience and try to take over the Apes spot next weekend with Conan the Barbarian possibly in the mix.

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