Box Office Report: 'Apes' Still Rules; 'The Help' Bows Strong; 'Glee' Off to Slow Start

Dale Robinette/Dreamworks

'The Help' could score a stellar five-day debut of $28 mil-$29 mil, while 'Apes' will likely win the three-day weekend with a gross in the mid-$20 mil range; 'Glee: The 3D Concert Movie' off to sluggish start.

Twentieth Century Fox’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes is poised to win the Friday box office race with an estimated $8.5 million to $9 million, while DreamWorks’ female-driven The Help continues to win over audiences, according to early returns.

Apes is now expected to come in No. 1 for the weekend, with a gross in the mid-$20 million range.

The Help should gross in the $6 million range on Friday, and is projected to earn $18 million to $20 million for the three-day weekend, putting its five-day debut as high as $29 million.

Opening on Wednesday, The Help earned a stellar $9.9 million in its first two days after earning a rare A+ CinemaScore. The movie, based on Kathryn Stockett’s bestselling novel about Southern white women and their maids, is playing particularly well in African-American theaters, as well as upscale cinemas like the ArcLight and Landmark theaters in Los Angeles.

For the three-day weekend, The Help could find itself in a close race with New Line and Warner Bros.’ Final Destination 5.

The weekend’s other new films—Sony’s R-rated action comedy 30 Minutes or Less and Fox’s Glee: The 3D Concert Movie—are turning in soft performances so far.

Glee is now projected to gross only $3.5 million for the day, putting its weekend earnings in the high single digits, a low turnout for a concert pic.

30 Minutes or Less had been expected to open in the $15 million to $17 million range, but is now looking at a debut closer to $10 million.