American novelist Kathryn Stockett’s debut novel The Help was set in the 1960s and featured African-American maids who worked in white households in Mississippi. The novel was adapted into the critically acclaimed film featuring Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer who won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for the film.

"The Help" proves it has staying power at the box office. 

Yolanda Sangweni
Aug, 22, 2011

"The Help" is like the little movie that could.

Despite coming in at number two in it's opening weekend, the movie, starring ESSENCE August cover girl Viola Davis, has gained traction and landed at number one at the box office this week, raking in an estimated $20.5 million and beating out "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," which was number one last week.

PHOTOS: 'The Help's' Hollywood Premiere

To date, the movie has grossed $71.3 million in 10 days of its release.

Viola Davis Gets Ready to Adopt

No matter how you look at it, the criticism and support of "The Help" has helped turn it to into the most-talked about movie of the summer. This, say industry vets, will only add to its staying power.