Called a “surprise summer hit” by USA Today, the film version of Kathryn Stockett’s The Help has brought in an estimated total of $71.8 million since it’s opening two weeks ago, which is “a rare success story for a modestly budgeted drama in summer.”

It rose to #1 at the box office, easily trouncing the weekend’s two book-to-movie debuts, both considered flops. Coming in at a lowly #9, One Day (based on last summer’s best selling original trade paperback by David Nicholls, Knopf) is the second film, and the second disappointment (after Reservation Road, based on the novel by John Burnham Schwartz), from Random House’s joint venture with Focus Films.

Based on a series of short stories, (although more closely associated with an earlier film starring a former California governor) Conan the Barbarian came in at #4. Not only was it considered a bust, but also a sign that star Jason Momoa should forget about a sequel and that audiences are falling out of love with 3-D films. The NYT says a variety of factors hurt the film, including “…a lack of interest by women in the subject matter, terrible reviews and a release date when consumers were distracted with vacations or back-to-school preparations.”

Below are the estimates of this weekend’s top-grossing movies, as reported by Box Office Mojo. Titles in bold are based on books; for tie-in information, see our “Movies Based on Books, Upcoming — with Tie-ins

1. The Help, $20.5 million; $71.8 million, second week 
2. Rise of the Planet of the Apes, $16.3 million; $133.8 million, third week
3. Spy Kids 4D, $12 million, first weekend
4. Conan the Barbarian, $10 million, first weekend 
5. The Smurfs, $8 million; $117.8 million, fourth week
6. Fright Night, $7.9 million, first weekend
7. Final Destination 5, $7.7 million; $32.3 million, second week
8. 30:Minutes or Less, $6.3 million; $25.8 million, second week
9. One Day, $5.1 million, first weekend 
10. Crazy, Stupid, Love., $4.95 million; $64.4 million, fourth week

One Response to “THE HELP Trounces ONE DAY”

  1. AnnaLaura Brown Says:

    I don’t think they should be that surprised. It was a great book and a best seller for so long that of course the movie would do well.