LOS ANGELES, August 21, 2011 (AFP) - "The Help" about a Southern white woman who writes a book about black women employed as maids and housekeepers in pre-Civil Rights era America, topped the weekend box office, industry estimates showed Sunday.
The Disney movie, which has received mixed reviews, moved up from second place, taking in nearly $20.5 million in its second week out to knock "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" from the top spot, according to tracker Exhibitor Relations.
The prequel to the 1968 classic "Planet of the Apes," earned $16.3 million over the weekend, bringing its three week gross to $133.7 million.
"Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World," was third with $12 million in ticket sales its first week in theaters.
Not far behind in fourth place, "Conan the Barbarian," featuring little known Hawaiian actor Jason Momoa in the old Arnold Schwarzenegger role in this remake of the beefcake classic, took in $10 million.
"Fright Night," another new release by Disney, was fifth with 8.3 million dollars in ticket receipts.
Dropping to sixth from fourth place was live-action and animation flick "The Smurfs," starring Neil Patrick Harris, which pulled in $8 million its fourth week out.
"Final Destination 5," the black comedy in which good-looking people are methodically killed off, fell from third to seventh place, bringing in $7.7 million.
"30 Minutes or Less," starring Jesse Eisenberg of "The Social Network" as a pizza delivery guy forced to rob a bank, sank to eighth place, earning $6.3 million in its second week in theaters.
Making the top-ten list its first week in theaters was "One Day," with Anne Hathaway, which follows the arc of an affair over the lives of two young lovers. It came in ninth with earnings of $5.1 million.
In 10th was the romantic comedy "Crazy, Stupid Love," at $2.5 million.
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 2," dropped out of the top ten for the first time, after raking in $357.3 million in a six week run that broke multiple box office records.