Box Office Preview: ‘Apes’ to rise again.

LOS ANGELES (AP) ? Fox’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” has kept its grip on the No. 1 spot in the midweek domestic box office race and should earn close to $30 million during its second weekend on the loose.

This will give the simian rebels a gross of more than $100 million by Sunday night and make it one of the few certified hits of the late summer.

Closing in on the “Apes” in second place will be Disney’s “The Help,” which opened on Wednesday with $5.5 million in early receipts and should end up the weekend in the $23 million to $25 million range, with lots of help from adoring fans. Based on the best-selling novel about racial equality in the 1960s’ South, “The Help” boasts a terrific ensemble cast and excellent reviews that should guarantee long-term box office success and much attention come awards season.

The debuting “Final Destination 5” from Warner Bros. once again gives audiences the vicarious thrill of watching other human beings dispatched in the most creative ways imaginable. This low-budget horror franchise has consistently killed it at the box office, with 2009’s previous installment taking in $27.4 million on its first weekend and this latest release expected to end up at No. 3 in the low $20 millions.

Sony’s newcomer “30 Minutes or Less” is the seventh R-rated comedy to be released this summer and stars “The Social Network’s” Jesse Eisenberg as a pizza delivery guy who has a bomb strapped to his chest and is forced to rob a bank. The film should open with around $13 million this weekend for a fourth-place finish.

Fox’s debuting “Glee: The 3-D Concert Movie,” featuring the cast of the hit TV show, will try to out-perform “The Smurfs” in its third weekend to the tune of around $10 million in a fracas for fifth place.

Sony Animation’s “The Smurfs” has been a family favorite since its debut and should pass the $100 million mark by Sunday. Now a box-office force to be reckoned with, Sony has announced a “Smurfs” sequel will be released on Aug. 2, 2013.


Paul Dergarabedian is president of the Box Office Division of and a box office analyst for The Associated Press.