'Conan' battles 'Apes' and more but 'Help' could prevail

A crowded weekend at the US box office with three new films opening wide -
Conan the Barbarian,
Spy Kids 4 and the horror remake
Fright Night - does not point to a strong advantage but might bring a surprise win.

Based on successful word-of-mouth, The Help, starring Emma Stone, performed beyond expectations last weekend and won the daily box office this week. It is poised to rise above Rise of the Planet of the Apes to take the top spot in the US with $21 million, according to BoxOffice.com.

Conan the Barbarian and Fright Night are reboots of 1980s movies that were not huge hits, making only a total of $55 million each (adjusted for inflation) per Box Office Mojo. They both open in 3,000 theaters each and could each take about $15 to $16 million this weekend.

Starring Jason Momoa ( Baywatch, Game of Thrones) Stephen Lang ( Avatar), Ron Perlman ( Hellboy) and Rose McGowan ( Grindhouse), Conan could surge ahead with action-adventure-hungry male moviegoers.

Robert Rodriguez's Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D, starring Jessica Alba, should appeal to families, especially with the smell-o-rama gimmick. His last Spy Kids debuted with $33.4 million in 2003, but fans of the third installment are too old for this release. It could collect about $15 million and up to $18 million, per the Hollywood Stock Exchange.

Fright Night, starring Colin Farrell ( Crazy Heart) and Anton Yelchin ( Star Trek), has a niche following as an amusing horror movie and might make about $14 million.

A fourth film opening is the romantic comedy One Day starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess ( Across the Universe) in just 1,600 theaters, which takes it out of the running with only a possible $6 million take.

While the newcomers will attempt to topple the holdover The Help at the box office, the racially themed drama is leading advance sales at 31% with online movie ticket retailer Fandango.
RC

 



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