'The Help' helps itself to a strong start at the box office
The well-reviewed drama starring Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Bryce Dallas Howard earned $5.5 million Wednesday, not bad for a movie without any huge stars or splashy effects. What it does have is a built-in audience via Kathryn Stockett's best-selling novel.
Disney, which is distributing the DreamWorks-produced movie, had estimated "The Help" would make in the neighborhood of $20 million over its first five days. Since it got more than a quarter of the way there on its first day, that estimate may turn out to be a little bit low.
"The Help" pushed last weekend's No. 1 movie, "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," down one spot to second in Wednesday's box office rankings. It made $4.9 million to push its six-day total to just above $73 million.
"The Help" will get more competition on Friday from three movies scheduled to open in wide release: "Final Destination 5," "30 Minutes or Less" and "Glee: The 3D Concert Movie."