Box Office: ‘The Help’ needs none to stay at no. 1 as ‘Spy Kids 4’ tops new releases

There were four major debuts this weekend, but it was status quo at the box office Friday as “The Help” and “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” remained on top of the box office.

Experiencing just a 21% drop, “The Help” grossed another $20.5 million for an impressive $71.8 million gross in less than two weeks.  The DreamWorks drama will clearly surpass the $100 million mark before the end of the month.

Dropping to second place was last weekend’s champ, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.”  The Rupert Wyatt prequel found another $16.3 million for $133.8 million to date.  And for those playing at home, yes, “Apes” qualifies for one of the big surprise hits of the summer.

None of this week’s new releases amounted to much, but “Spy Kids: All the time in the World in 4D” was able to climb to the top of the pack with $12 million.  The last “Spy Kids” feature, “Spy Kids 3D: Game Over” opened to a franchise record $33 million, but that was way back in 2003.  The generation that fell in love with filmmaker Robert Rodriguez’s family friendly concept has clearly grown up and moved on since then.  Dimension Films will have to take solace that “Spy Kids 4” had a relatively small production budget.

Fourth place went to “Conan the Barbarian” with just $10 million. Featuring Jason Momoa as the classic Robert E. Howard hero, the Lionsgate and Millennium Films reboot did not performed as hoped. Any chances of creating a new franchise around the character may be put on hold.

Possibly more disheartening was the performance of DreamWorks’ “Fright Night.”  Even while receiving the best reviews of this weekend’s new releases, the reboot of the cult 1985 horror comedy grossed just $8.3 million.  Disney handles marketing for DreamWorks titles now, and it’s clear the current team is having problems opening male skewing titles such as this one.

Debuting in just 1,719 theaters and landing in ninth place was the Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess romance “One Day.”  Anne Hathaway took a break from filming “The Dark Knight Rises” to engage in a two-week media blitz for the romance, but it only found $5.1 million with a not-so magical $2,903 per screen average.

This Friday’s new releases include the Paul Rudd comedy “Our Idiot Brother”,” Guillermo del Toro’s long awaited “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” and the Zoe Saldana action flick “Columbiana.”

Box Office actuals are released on Monday.