Weekend Box Office And Your Monday Must-Read.

It was a big weekend for “The Help.”
The flick about domestic relations in the Civil Rights-era South finished atop the weekend, sending “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” down to second place.

The weekend’s two big openers, Robert Rodrigquez’s fourth entry in the “Spy Kids” series and the “Conan the Barbarian” reboot both had a tough time. The flicks finished at third and fourth respectively. Not exactly the kind of savage victory that befits a bad-ass barbarian, especially when your movie cost $90 million to make.

Finally, the Anne Hathaway-starrer “One Day” just about clawed its way into the Top 10 in its opening weekend, taking in $5.1 million on $5.1 million on a budget of $15 million. Sometimes it doesn’t hurt to think small.
Courtesy of the folks at Box Office Mojo, here’s the weekend by the numbers:

Name: Weekend: Total:
1. The Help $20.5m $71.8m
2. Rise of the Planet of the Apes $16.3m $133.7m
3. Spy Kids: All the Time in the World $12m $12m
4. Conan the Barbarian $10m $10m
5. The Smurfs $8m $117m
6. Fright Night $7.9m $8.3m
7. Final Destination 5 $7.7m $32.3m
8. 30 Minutes or Less $6.3m $25.7m
9. One Day
$5.1m $5.1m
10. Crazy, Stupid, Love. $4.9m $64.4m

Writing in the pages of The Observer of London on Sunday, film critic Peter Conrad wonders whether the world really needs new adaptations of “Jane Eyre” and “Wuthering Heights,” both of which are set to hit the small screen in the UK soon.

The answer, he concludes, is yes, particularly in the hands of filmmakers Andrea Arnold (Wuthering Heights) and Cary Fukunaga (Jane Eyre).

Here’s the germane part of the story:

“Certain books – by the Brontës and by Jane Austen and Dickens – are indispensable to us and accompany us through life. When we first read them, they prospectively sketch our quest to discover who we are and our struggle to impose ourselves on the world; in later decades, they remain as markers of our progress or testaments to our disillusionment. In Jane Eyre, a disadvantaged girl prevails by force of will and by the intensity of an uncompromising imagination. Oliver Twist is about an even more disadvantaged boy who survives thanks to the kindness of strangers and remains angelically immune to the depravity around him.

Wuthering Heights warns that the outcome may not be so fortunate: the past with its ghost or demons is inescapable. Pride and Prejudice – superficially frothy, actually profound – calculates the odds against personal happiness in a society ruled by cash and class. It dispenses with the fictional magic on which the Brontës and Dickens rely and forces us to ask whether love is just an enlightened calculation of financial advantage and whether, if we make an error of judgment, we can expect a second chance.”

Read the full story here.

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