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.
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.