LOS ANGELES, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- A prequel to a popular Hollywood franchise about the apes has succeeded in maintaining its No. 1 place at the North America box office this weekend, while a drama about race relations opened in second with soft showing.
"Rise of The Planet Of The Apes," a reboot of the 1968 classic film "Planet of the Aps" which tells the story of how lower primates began evolving to take over Earth from humans, is projected to rake in 27.5 million U.S. dollars over the Friday- Sunday period after it opened with solid showing 10 days ago, the North America box office authority Hollywood.com said. The 20th Century Fox sci-fi actioner, which stars James Franco, Andy Serkis and Freida Pinto, is on track for a two-week total of nearly 104.9 million dollars.
As one of the four films premiered in the United States and Canada over the weekend, "The Help" earned 25.5 million dollars for the weekend and over 35 million dollars since it opened on Wednesday in 2,534 venues in North America. Based on Kathryn Stockett's 2009 popular novel about a young white woman, Skeeter Phelan, and her relationship with two black maids during Civil Rights era in America in early 1960s, the small-budget comedy- drama film serves as Tate Taylor's directorial debut. It stars Emma Stone, Mike Vogel and Bryce Dallas Howard and is made with only 25 million dollars.
Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 73 percent of 122 professional critics gave the film a positive review. Moviegoers gave it an A+, according to CinemaScore.
Just like other films centering on inter-racial relations like the Award Academy winner "Driving Miss Daisy," "The Help" is widely expected to perform well with audience across the country, and is likely to make a run at the Academy Award. "Driving Miss Daisy" grossed a total of 100 million dollars in North America and won four Academy Awards including the Best Picture at the 62nd Academy Awards in 1989.
"Final Destination 5," a 3-D thriller on the "Final Destination " franchise released by New Line Cinema, premiered in third place, with an estimated 18.4 million-dollar take. "The Smurfs," a 3-D family film released by Columbia Pictures, ended in fourth place, garnering 13.5 million dollars for a three-week running take of 101.5 million dollars. It was the first CGI/live-action hybrid film to be produced by Sony Pictures Animation.
Sony's R-rated action-comedy "30 Minutes or Less" rounds out the top 5 raking in 13 million dollars in its debut. This is the seventh R-rated comedy that hit the screen this summer. It served as a vehicle for Jesse Eisenberg ("The Social Network") who plays a pizza delivery guy who has a bomb strapped to his chest and is forced to rob a bank.