'Apes' claims top branch at weekend box office

"Rise of the Planet of the Apes" dangled from the top spot in the North American box office for a second consecutive weekend, raking in $27.8 million, industry estimates showed Monday.

Although the earnings marked a 50 percent drop from last weekend, the prequel to the 1968 classic "Planet of the Apes" still brought a total of $105.2 million after 10 days, according to earnings tracker Exhibitor Relations.

In a surprise second was the screen adaptation of Kathryn Stockett's 2009 debut novel "The Help," a 1960s period film about African-American maids working for white households in Jackson, Mississippi.

The movie, which opened Wednesday, earned $26 million over the weekend for a total take of $35.9 million so far.

The sardonic "Final Destination 5," a dark comedy in which good-looking young people are methodically killed off in graphic detail, debuted in third place.

The fifth installment of the once-innovative franchise in which teens cheat death only to have the Grim Reaper come clawing back to claim them, sold a less-than-expected $18 million in tickets.

"The Smurfs" fell from second to fourth in their third week, with a take of $13.3 million.

The live-action and animated film, starring Neil Patrick Harris and featuring the voice of pop star Katy Perry as Smurfette, so far has generated an estimated $101.8 million in North American sales.

Fifth place went to "30 Minutes or Less," starring Jesse Eisenberg of "The Social Network" as a pizza delivery guy kidnapped by fledgling criminals who strap a bomb to his chest and order him to rob a bank. It earned $13.3 million.

Action thriller "Cowboys & Aliens" starring Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig, marked its third week in theaters with $7.8 million in ticket sales, slipping from third to sixth place.

The eighth and final installment of the Harry Potter series, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2," came in seventh place.

The blockbuster about the boy wizard took in $7.25 million in its fifth week, after breaking multiple box office records and soaring past $1 billion in global sales.

"Captain America: The First Avenger" with Chris Evans starring as a superhero dedicated to defending American ideals, with the eighth biggest earning movie, with $7.2 million in sales.

Dropping two spots to ninth was the romantic comedy "Crazy, Stupid, Love," with a take of $7 million.

Tenth place was claimed by the comedy date flick "The Change-Up," selling $6.3 million in movie seats.

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