Box Office: 'The Help' withstands the force of Hurricane Irene to stay on top
Hurricane Irene's effects were felt on the national box office this weekend as up to 1,000 theaters shut down on Saturday and Sunday. This led to one of the worst individual weekends of 2011 and severely diminished the returns for a number of films including three prominent new releases.
Surviving Irene's onslaught, however, was last weekend's champ, "The Help." Repeating in the top spot, the Dreamworks is estimated to have grossed $14.3 million over the three-day and an impressive $96.6 million to date. The Emma Stone and Viola Davis word-of-mouth hit should cross the $100 million mark sometime this week.
Debuting in the second slot was Zoe Saldana's "Colombiana." The Sony Pictures release was able to snag $10.3 million from the rest of the county making many wonder how much more the thriller could have grossed without the effects of the enclimate weather. Sony distributed the picture on behalf of Luc Besson's Europacorp. Earning a A- cineamscore from moviegoers, the film may have a chance of making up some of the Irene loss over the next few weeks.
Guilermo Del Toro's "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" remake was right behind with $8.68 million, but an unfortunate C- moviegoer grade. FilmDistrict acquired the $25 million thriller from Miramax and after an expensive marketing campaign may not even break even.
The last new release, "Our Idiot Brother," was actually the best reviewed of the trio, but also scored a sour C- cinemascore rating and actually placed fifth overall. The Paul Rudd comedy debuted at Sundance and was acquired by The Weinstein Company for a reported $6 million. Seven months later, "Brother" grossed just $6.5 million also after a large marketing campaign. Luckily, the loss for Weinstein won't be as bad as the one FilmDistrict will endure.
The fourth slot was filled by "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" which found another $8.65 million for a stellar $148.4 million to date.
Because of the weather these estimates may be dramatically lower or higher when actuals are released on Monday.
This week finds the debut of "The Debt" on Wednesday and "Apollo 18" and "Shark Night 3D" on Friday.