BOX OFFICE: Our ‘Help’ in ‘Apes’ Past

Posted by · 6:33 pm · August 14th, 2011

Okay, so now you know why I’m not usually charged with box-office pun duties. Come back to the five and dime, Chad Hartigan, Chad Hartigan, and so on. Still, it doesn’t take a prodigious number-cruncher — lucky, since I’m not one — to tell that this is quite a result for “The Help.” Even accounting for bestselling source material, for a female-driven, racially-themed drama in which the biggest star is the still-green Emma Stone to come this close to toppling a summer popcorner as robust as “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” is pretty spectacular: expect a strong hold as word of mouth for Disney’s cuddly civil-rights film builds, buttressing the eventual Oscar campaign. (For the sake of comparison, the far more star-powered “The Blind Side” debuted with $34 million in 2009.)

Surely the week’s unhappiest new release, meanwhile, falls outside the Top 10: “Glee: The 3D Concert Movie” pulled in a miserable $5.7 million, suggesting that the show’s many fans can still tell the difference between a film and an iTunes playlist in three dimensions. I’d worry that we’ve collectively lost our sense of wonder, but people are still going to see “Final Destination 5,” so let’s not panic.

(Courtesy: Exhibitor Relations)

→ 22 Comments Tags: , , , , | Filed in: Box Office · Daily

22 responses so far

  • 1 8-14-2011 at 6:43 pm

    Brock Landers said...

    Too bad 30 Minutes or Less didn’t do better. It was hilarious.

  • 2 8-14-2011 at 9:20 pm

    Ben M. said...

    That is a great opening for The Help which could boost Davis’ chances of a oscar nom.

    I had a pretty crowded movie weekend and saw a trio of b.o. underperformers: Final Destination 5, 30 Minutes or Less, and Cowboys & Aliens; all were mediocre and didn’t really deserve to be big hits (though Final Destination did make good use of the Imax 3D format, which shouldn’t be surprising given the other films the director worked on).

  • 3 8-14-2011 at 9:35 pm

    Andrej said...

    Haven’t seen it yet, but there’s something I’ve read around about Final Destination 5 which piqued my interest:

    Does it really have a shot at a Best Special Effects nod? I’ve been hearing the 3D is fantastic and so is the CGI, particularly at the collapsing bridge scene, and if Hereafter could get in solely on a short tsunami scene…

    Also noteworthy is Midnight in Paris, which managed to pull off yet another million in #13.

  • 4 8-14-2011 at 11:21 pm

    Auteurfan said...

    The amount of money The Smurfs has made is very distressing… It keeps me up at nights.

  • 5 8-14-2011 at 11:51 pm

    Glenn said...

    Well, it’s not out in America but if I can convince just one person in Australia to see “Red Dog” then the world wins. Would love to see how this film, “Babe-lite with a dog” but really wonderful nonetheless, does with overseas audiences. It even went up in its second week at the box office so that’s something.

    I only mention it because… well… have you SEEN the US chart? Not much to discuss there.

  • 6 8-15-2011 at 4:16 am

    RichardA said...

    At this point, I’m calling Midnight In Paris for Original Screenplay.

    The Glee bomb is just painful.

  • 7 8-15-2011 at 5:29 am

    JJ1 said...

    Well, wasn’t Glee made for 9 mill or so? By the end of it’s run, it may only make 11 or 12 mill. And it’ll make some $ overseas. It’s not an all-out bomb (like something that makes 50 mill worldwide on a 150 mill budget). But relatively speaking with regards to the fanbase, it’s extremely disappointing. A bit shocking, too; no matter it’s quality.

  • 8 8-15-2011 at 6:00 am

    m1 said...

    So, are all of next weeks releases going to bomb?

  • 9 8-15-2011 at 6:08 am

    SC said...

    I’m not remotely surprised the “Glee” concert film bombed. The show has a devout fanbase (I watch it, even though it drives me up the wall a lot of the time, because I love the cast), but in the end it’s a concert movie where all the songs were already performed free on national television; and there are about a million videos from the tour on YouTube. Very little incentive to go see it (I didn’t).

    Glad to see “Apes” doing so well.

    Based on these box office results, I think we’ll definitely see Viola Davis in the running for Best Supporting Actress this season.

  • 10 8-15-2011 at 6:20 am

    JJ1 said...

    The more I think about it, the more I feel like Davis could be considered Lead (a la Kate in The Reader). But if it’s Supporting, there’s a slightly better chance for a win, imo.

    And you’re right SC, everything was performed on tv for free already. Good point.

  • 11 8-15-2011 at 6:47 am

    SC said...

    Yeah, she could submit as Lead if she wanted to (she’s in more of the movie than Anthony Hopkins is in “Silence of the Lambs”), but her odds are undoubtedly better in Supporting.

    If they ever get that “Fences” movie made, that’ll be her ticket in Lead.

  • 12 8-15-2011 at 7:11 am

    kel said...

    I went to see 30 Min or Less with my parents and have never had such an awkward film viewing experience. Zombieland was excellent but this was way too raunchy too watch with old people who never even gave me “the talk” when I was a teenager way back when…

  • 13 8-15-2011 at 7:17 am

    JJ1 said...

    It’s a shame. While I love the Eisenberg. I’ve just had zero interest in 30 Min or Less.

  • 14 8-15-2011 at 8:25 am

    Ben M. said...

    Andrej, the CGI and 3D in Final Destination 5 is good and very immersive (again no surpise given the director’s frequent collaborations with James Cameron) but I really think it has no shot at a visual effects nom. Hereafter was a far more academy friendly movie, and aside from two big setpieces the visual effects in FD5 aren’t that showy.

  • 15 8-15-2011 at 8:54 am

    red_wine said...

    Hereafter was actually good, I liked it.

    But what the fuck is up with The Smurfs. Its really ridiculous that it can comfortably sail past 100 million dollars. A Sequel is in order. Ugh.

  • 16 8-15-2011 at 9:00 am

    SC said...

    A sequel to “The Smurfs” has already been commissioned.

    Unless the world ends in 2012 and staves it off.

  • 17 8-15-2011 at 1:56 pm

    Drew said...

    Does anyone think there’s a chance we could get a second Dragon Tattoo trailer attached to any of next weekends new releases? Or would the following months be more probable?

  • 18 8-15-2011 at 2:50 pm

    A.J said...

    Had The Help been released on Friday would it have been #1?

  • 19 8-15-2011 at 3:14 pm

    JJ1 said...

    I would assume so, given how just $1.8 million of the $9.9 million-worth of audience members would have likely tried to see it opening weekend if they ran to see it Wednesday or Thursday.

  • 20 8-15-2011 at 5:16 pm

    Rashad said...

    i don’t even see why they opened it on Weds anyway

  • 21 8-15-2011 at 5:29 pm

    Drew said...

    Rashad: Word of mouth. And it paid off really well.

  • 22 8-16-2011 at 3:44 am

    Glenn said...

    The Glee film was nothing more than a commercial for the DVD release, anyway. They paid something like $7mil to make, barely advertised anywhere outside of the core fanbase and, ya know, they probably made all the money they need from the actual concert.