Emma Stone film ‘The Help’ beats up ‘Conan’ to take top spot at US Box Office

'Conan', 'Fright Night' and 'Spy Kids 4' all open poorly

The Help, a southern drama about life in sixties Mississippi, has become an unexpected summer Number One in America.

Opening last week to the tune of $26 million (£15.7 million), the film – which received glowing reviews and is already garnering Oscar talk – took a further $51 million (£30.9 million) to take the top spot from Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes.

Despite the rising star of Emma Stone, the film’s success is somewhat unexpected in the midst of the summer blockbusters. The film stars Stone as a young writer who causes controversy in her small Southern town by interviewing African American women who have lived their lives working as housekeepers for rich, white families.

Elsewhere in the US charts, the reboot of Conan The Barbarian took a disappointing estimate of $10m (£6m) opening in fourth spot two places ahead of another remake, Fright Night starring Colin Farrell and former Dr. Who, David Tennant.

Spy Kids 4 beat both to open third with a below expectations $12 million (£7.2 million).

The adaptation of the David Nicholls best seller One Day, starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess also opened poorly, with a predicted weekend total of $5.1 million (£3.1 million).

The Help is due for release in the UK on October 28.

For more box office statistics visit BoxOfficeMojo.