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'Help' tops 'Apes' in weekend box office

"The Help" continues to clean up at the box office, taking over the No. 1 spot with $20.5 million in its second weekend.

The DreamWorks Pictures film starring Viola Davis, Emma Stone and Octavia Spencer in a drama about Southern black maids had debuted in second place a week earlier. "The Help" raised its domestic total to $71.8 million and bumped 20th Century Fox's "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," which slipped to No. 2 with $16.3 million after two weekends at the top, according to studio estimates Sunday, lifting its domestic total to $133.8 million.

Much as Kathryn Stockett's novel "The Help" became a best-seller through readers talking it up, the film is holding strong as audiences tell friends to go see it, said Dave Hollis, head of distribution for Disney, which releases DreamWorks films.

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