Friday Report: 'Help' Holds Off Hurricane, Newcomers
by Brandon Gray
August 27, 2011
|The Help|| |
On Friday, The Help seemed unfazed by Hurricane Irene's approach and the three new nationwide releases Colombiana, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark and Our Idiot Brother. The drama packed an estimated $4.4 million, down just 25 percent from last Friday, lifting its total to $86.7 million in 17 days. The weekend as a whole, though, is poised to be one of the slowest of the year, hurricane or no.
Colombiana was the strongest debut with an estimated $3.75 million on approximately 2,900 screens at 2,614 locations. On the bright side, it improved on the $3.24 million first day of Zoe Saldana's last action turn in the ensemble The Losers as well as producer Luc Besson's last action movie, From Paris with Love ($2.95 million), but it was tepid otherwise.
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark disappointed with an estimated $3.63 million at 2,760 nearly single-screen locations. That was a low debut gross for a supernatural horror movie, and trailed distributor FilmDistrict's previous release Insidious ($4.78 million). In fact, in the past three years, the sub-genre has only seen two worse starts (Case 39 and The Haunting of Molly Hartley).
Our Idiot Brother stumbled into fifth place with an estimated $2.37 million at 2,555 single-screen locations. The opening was worse than The Switch's $2.7 million last August.
Even without a hurricane on the East Coast to contend with, this crop of new releases was always going to be modest at best, though Irene has given Hollywood a convenient excuse. These movies paled compared to the ones on the same Friday last year, The Last Exorcism and Takers, which respectively drew $9.4 million and $7.5 million.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes ranked fourth with an estimated $2.6 million, seeing a similar Friday-to-Friday drop as last week (44 percent). Its total climbed to $142.4 million in 22 days.
Last weekend's flops showed no traction. Spy Kids: All the Time in the World tumbled 60 percent to an estimated $1.6 million for a paltry $17.6 million sum in eight days. Fright Night bled 64 percent to an estimated $971,000 for an anemic $12.2 million tally in eight days. Conan the Barbarian crumbled 75 percent to an estimated $930,000, mustering just $14.4 million in eight days.
• Forecast: 'Help' Has Only the 'Dark' to Fear
• Ad Fidelity: 'Don't Be Afraid of the Dark'
• Grosses for Friday, August 26, 2011