Box Office: The Help Slays Conan, Vampires, Apes, and Spy Kids

Conan The Barbarian (2011) Movie PosterIt is, indeed, the summer of Emma Stone. You’d be hardpressed to know who the little lady was a few years ago, then “Zomibeland” hit, followed by another surprise hit, “Easy A” (a film that she easily carried), and now, “The Help”. Granted, the movie comes with a bestselling book behind it, but let’s face it, it’s good to be Emma Stone these days. The little lass’ period drama “The Help” has done what very few films have managed to do at the box office — opened in second place, then moving up to first place the following week. Of course, it helps that “The Help” added quite a number of theaters to its lists (instead of subtracting, as is usually the pattern), a boost that helped the film to a studio estimated $20.5 million in its second week and the top spot, giving it $71 million so far in two weeks of release. Not bad for a $25 million dollar film.

“The Help” easily surpassed the third week of “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”, which fell to second place with $16.3 million. The sci-fi prequel has made $133 million so far in three weeks, and $227 million worldwide. That means holdovers “Apes” and “Help” had no real competition from four studio newcomers, with Robert Rodriguez’s poop, diaper, and fart jokes galore masterpiece “Spy Kids: All the Time in the World” getting closest with $12 million and third place. Of the four new studio releases, reboots of “Conan” and “Fright Night” both did weak business, with “Conan” taking fourth place with $10 million. The barbarian reboot comes into theaters with a surprisingly bloated $90 million dollar budget, nearly as much a “Apes'” $93 million.

“Fright Night”, meanwhile, opened in sixth place with $7.9 million. Not exactly great numbers, but on the plus side, the film is only saddled with a $30 million dollar production budget, despite having a much bigger name in its cast in Colin Farrell. With that kind of moderate budget, the film should eventually prove profitable, even if its first week in theaters is nothing to brag about.

The bottom line here? If you’re holding out hope for a “Conan” sequel, you can probably stop now. A “Fright Night” sequel, on the other hand, may not be so far-fetched. An “Apes” sequel, meanwhile, is all but guaranteed.

Colin Farrell in Fright Night (2011) Movie Image