Friday Report: 'Apes' Lead Again, 'Help' Rises Above Death
On Friday, Rise of the Planet of the Apes fended off the onslaught of four new nationwide releases to top the box office again. The Help won the dust-up between a tepid Final Destination 5, 30 Minutes or Less and Glee: The 3D Concert Movie.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes packed an estimated $8.1 million, retreating 59 percent from last Friday. Though steep, the second Friday drop-off was less severe than Planet of the Apes (2001), I, Robot, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and X-Men: First Class, among comparable titles. With an $85.5 million haul in eight days, Rise is tracking ahead of fellow 20th Century Fox prequel/reboot X-Men: First Class ($81.4 million) and has out-grossed most of its key comps through the same point, aside from the last Planet remake's $104.7 million (or $147.5 million normalized for ticket-price inflation). Rise is now looking at around $26 million for the weekend.

The Help picked up an estimated $7.6 million on approximately 3,100 screens at 2,534 locations, landing smack dab in the middle of the first Friday grosses of Julie & Julia ($6.5 million) and Eat Pray Love ($8.5 million), the major female-driven book adaptations of the last two Augusts. Help, though, has shown greater initial popularity, since it opened on Wednesday, unlike those two movies, and has tallied $17.5 million in three days. For Friday-to-Sunday, Help is on track for $22-23 million.

In third place, death started to take the Final Destination franchise, which showed an opening decline for the first time. Final Destination 5 drew an estimated $7.3 million on close to 4,600 screens at 3,155 locations, and an estimated 76 percent of the gross was from 3D presentations on 2,800 screens at 2,515 locations. Predecessor The Final Destination, also in 3D, debuted to $10.8 million in Aug. 2009 (leading to a $27.4 million weekend). If FD5 follows a similar trajectory as FD4, it would wind up with around $18.5 million for the weekend, which would slot just below the first movie as the franchise's least-attended start.

30 Minutes or Less mustered an estimated $4.85 million on around 3,100 screens at 2,888 locations, which was about half of Zombieland's $9.45 million first day. The action comedy's start was in the league of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Observe and Report but a far cry from Pineapple Express.

Rounding out the Top Five, The Smurfs collected an estimated $3.8 million and boasted the smallest Friday-to-Friday percentage dip among nationwide holdovers (36 percent). With a $91.8 million total in 15 days, it has exceeded nearly all recent talking-critter comedies through the same point, excluding the Chipmunks.

Glee: The 3D Concert Movie ranked sixth with an estimated $2.7 million at 2,040 3D locations, which was worse than even Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience among comparable titles.

The movies ranked No. 7 through No. 11, Cowboys & Aliens, Crazy, Stupid, Love., Captain America: The First Avenger, The Change-Up and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, were all within $330,000 of each other, ranging from $2.19 million (Cowboys) to $1.86 million (Harry). All continued down their expected paths, and Captain crossed the $150 million milestone (in 22 days).

Related Stories:

Forecast: Death Won't Take the 'Apes'

'The Help' Bags Solid $9.9M in Two Days

Ad Fidelity: 'Final Destination 5'

Ad Fidelity: '30 Minutes or Less'

Related Charts:

• Grosses for Friday, August 12, 2011

• Showdown: 'Apes' Vs. Comps