‘Apes’ Is Top Movie for Second Weekend With $27.8 Million in Ticket Sales

“Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” the prequel to the 1968 classic, remained the top movie in U.S. and Canadian theaters for a second weekend, with $27.8 million in ticket sales for News Corp.’s Twentieth Century Fox.

“The Help,” the civil rights-era drama from Walt Disney Co. (DIS) and Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks Studios SKG, was second with $26 million, researcher Hollywood.com Box-Office said today in an e-mailed statement “Final Destination 5” opened third with sales of $18 million.

“Rise of the Planets of the Apes” outdrew four new movies opening this past weekend. The picture revives the franchise that began with the original film based on the Pierre Boulle novel about a world where the roles of apes and humans are reversed. Six previous movies derived from Boulle’s concept have generated $691.3 million in domestic ticket sales, according to Box Office Mojo, another industry tracker.

“It’s a solid second weekend for ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes,’” said Brandon Gray, president of Box Office Mojo. “It couldn’t realistically have expected much more, based on where it was at last weekend.” The film had $54.8 million in receipts then.

“Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” featuring James Franco, is the first picture from Chernin Entertainment, led by former News Corp. (NWSA) President and Chief Operating Officer Peter Chernin. Chernin, 60, resigned from News Corp. in 2009 to open the movie and TV production company. The film has taken in $105.2 million in the U.S. and Canada since it opened Aug. 5.

‘The Help’

In the movie, a chimp used in drug tests is endowed with high intelligence. He leads a rebellion against harsh treatment in the lab, setting the stage for the role reversal of humans and apes explored in the original picture. Franco plays a sympathetic scientist who treats the young chimp with kindness.

Tom Felton, who played Draco Malfoy in the “Harry Potter” films, co-stars as one of the chimp’s antagonists. The cast also includes Freida Pinto and John Lithgow. The effects-heavy movie cost about $90 million to make, according to the Internet Movie Database. The website Boxoffice.com had forecast $26 million in sales for the movie’s second weekend.

“The Help” stars Emma Stone as an aspiring journalist who writes about the experiences of black maids in racially segregated Mississippi. Set in the early 1960s, the film explores relations between middle-class white women and the blacks who work in their homes.

‘Final Destination 5’

Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis co-star as the black women who cope with mixed emotions caring for their employers’ white children while enduring thoughtless insults from the mothers. The film has taken in $35.9 million since opening on Aug. 10.

In “Final Destination 5,” from Time Warner Inc. (TWX)’s Warner Bros., a group of humans escape a bridge collapse only to be pursued by death. The first four films in the horror series took in $507.2 million in worldwide ticket sales, according to Box Office Mojo.

“‘Final Destination 5’ had a disappointing debut,” Gray said, adding this was the first time a “Final Destination” sequel had a lower opening than its predecessor. The movie “simply promised more of the same without any new twists.”

Sony Corp. (6758)’s “The Smurfs” dropped to fourth place from second, with revenue of $13.7 million. Combining live action and computer effects, “The Smurfs” stars Neil Patrick Harris as a New Yorker who helps the tiny, blue creatures after they are forced from their village by an evil wizard.

‘Glee’

“30 Minutes or Less,” also by Sony, opened in fifth place with $13.3 million in sales. The film features “The Social Network” star Jesse Eisenberg as a pizza-delivery man who is ordered by criminals to rob a bank. They strap a bomb to his torso to make sure he carries out the plot. Aziz Ansari co-stars as a friend who is recruited to help out.

“Glee: The 3-D Concert Movie,” a musical drama based on the Fox television series, was the fourth debut this past weekend. It opened in 11th place with $6 million in receipts. The ranking is due in part to moviegoers judging the film to be little different from the television show, Gray said.

“It falls under the adage, ‘Why pay for something that’s free on TV?” Gray said. “On top of that, you’re not getting anything really new or essential to the show if you’re a fan.”

Weekend revenue for the top 12 films rose 8.2 percent to $143 million from a year earlier, Hollywood.com said. Domestic box-office sales this year have declined 4.2 percent to $6.93 billion, while attendance is down 5.1 percent.

The amounts below are based on actual ticket sales for Aug. 12 through yesterday.

                     Rev.             Avg./    Pct.    Total
Movie               (mln) Theaters  Theater    Chg.    (mln) Wks
================================================================
 1 PLANET OF APES   $27.8    3,691   $7,541    -49   $105.2    2
 2 THE HELP          26.0    2,534   10,278     --     35.9    1
 3 FINAL DESTINATION 18.0    3,155    5,715     --     18.0    1
 4 THE SMURFS        13.7    3,427    4,007    -34    101.8    3
 5 30 MIN. OR LESS   13.3    2,888    4,616     --     13.3    1
 6 COWBOYS & ALIENS   7.8    3,310    2,360    -50     81.7    3
 7 HARRY POTTER       7.3    2,414    3,004    -42    357.3    5
 8 CAPTAIN AMERICA    7.2    2,835    2,544    -45    157.0    4
 9 CRAZY,STUPID,LOVE  7.1    2,635    2,677    -41     55.5    3
10 THE CHANGE-UP      6.3    2,913    2,165    -53     25.8    2
11 GLEE 3-D CONCERT   6.0    2,040    2,922     --      6.0    1
12 HORRIBLE BOSSES    2.4    1,338    1,822    -47    110.0    6


Top 12 Films Grosses

   This Week     Year Ago      Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
===================================
    $143.0        $132.1      +8.2


Year-to-date Revenue

     2011          2010
      YTD           YTD        Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
===================================
    $6,928        $7,229      -4.2

Year-to-date Attendance:     -5.1%

To contact the reporters on this story: Michael White in Los Angeles at mwhite8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net; Donal Griffin in New York at Dgriffin10@bloomberg.net

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