Box Office Results for September 2, 2011

This weekend, showing incredible longevity, The Help was the most popular film in North America for the third weekend in a row beating out a trio of new releases to top the long Friday-to-Monday Labor Day holiday frame.  The spy drama thriller The Debt debuted to impressive results in second place while the critically-panned horror films Apollo 18 and Shark Night followed with modest openings.  Older adults came out to multiplexes in larger numbers than teens as overall ticket sales were about even with the holiday from the past two years.

Still pulling in ticket buyers in its fourth weekend, The Help led the way with an estimated $19M over the long four-day span with the Friday-to-Sunday portion seeing a slight uptick from last weekend.  The Mississippi-set drama became the first film since Warner Bros.Inception to rank number one for three weekends.  Averaging a strong $6,683 over four days, the Touchstone release boosted its stellar cume to $123.4M on its way to what should be at least $160M for production company DreamWorksThe Help continues to benefit from solid buzz and audience expansion reaching people now who had no interest on opening weekend.  It has now surpassed DC‘s Green Lantern and is on course to outgross bigger summer action films like 20th Century Fox and Marvel‘s X-Men: First Class and Paramount‘s Super 8.

Leading the way among new titles was the older-skewing espionage thriller The Debt, which bowed to an estimated $12.6M over the Friday-to-Monday period.  The Focus release of the Miramax film averaged a healthy $6,873 from only 1,826 locations as it played to a more sophisticated adult crowd.  Reviews were good for the Helen MirrenSam Worthington film and with its Wednesday start the six-day gross was $14.5M.  The performance was especially impressive given how well The Help (with 1,000 extra theaters) continues to do with adult women and the fact that films opening on Labor Day weekend rarely average more than $6,000 over four days.  A healthy run ahead for The Debt could result.

There was a tight race among the frame’s two other new releases for the bronze medal.  The outer space thriller Apollo 18 claimed a slim lead over with an estimated $10.7M debut from a very wide 3,328 theaters resulting in an awful $3,215 four-day average.  The Dimension release tried to intrigue sci-fi audiences with its found-footage format but few turned out.  However, audiences rejected what they saw as the CinemaScore grade came in as a dismal D.  Grosses will evaporate quickly.  Luckily for the distributor, Apollo 18 carried a tiny $5M production budget and almost no marketing campaign, so the film has already made more than it’s worth.

Opening behind in fourth place was the fifth horror film in four weeks and the second of this week alone, Shark Night with an estimated $10.3M.  Released by Rogue, the PG-13 pic averaged a weak $3,671 from 2,806 despite including Real D 3D surcharges.  It was the fourth fright flick in a row that failed to break double digit millions on its Friday-to-Sunday opening weekend following the $8.7M of Dimension’s Apollo 18 from this same weekend, $8.5M of FilmDistrict and Miramax’s Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark and the $7.7M of DreamWorks’ Fright Night, which was also in 3D.  Shark Night scared up $8.4M over three days.  Produced for roughly $25M, Shark Night scored a disappointing C grade from CinemaScore.  Females made up 52% of the audience, 57% was under 25, and a very high 56% was Latino.  Although there were 300+ runs in 2D, Shark Night truly pushed the extra dimensional thrills as a very high 86% of the sales came from 3D screens.


20th Century Fox’s summer hit Rise of the Planet of the Apes collected an estimated $10.3M, raising the impressive sum to $162.5M.  The Zoe Saldana revenge action thriller Colombiana dropped a reasonable amount in its second weekend to an estimated $9.4M pushing the 11 day total to $24M for TriStar and EuropaCorp.


With a four-day take that matched its three-day debut, the dramedy Our Idiot Brother from the Weinstein Co. and Big Beach grossed an estimated $7M.  The Paul Rudd pic has taken in a modest $17.3M in 11 days.  Dimension and Troublemaker‘s Spy Kids: All the Time in the World collected an estimated $6.6M in its third round boosting the total to $31M.


Suffering the largest decline in the top ten was the horror entry Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, which fell to an estimated $6.1M over four days.  FilmDistrict and Miramax have scared up $17.6M to date and the three-day decline was 40%.  The Smurfs took in an estimated $5.6M for a mighty $133.6M domestic haul.  The Sony Animation smash continues to shine overseas with its international total rising to continues to shine overseas with its international total rising to $295.8M and the global gross hitting a sturdy $428M.








With the summer movie season ending this past weekend, sequels pulled in the most business dominating the marketplace.  The top five summer films were: Warner Bros.’ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 ($375.5M), Paramount and Hasbro‘s Transformers: Dark of the Moon ($350.5), Warner Bros.’ The Hangover Part II ($254.3M), Walt Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer‘s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides ($240.5M), and Universal‘s Fast Five ($209.8M), which opened at the end of April but truly kicked off the busy movie-going season.  The top non-sequels were: Paramount and Marvel’s Thor and Captain American: The First Avenger ($181M and $172.1M), and Universal and Apatow‘s Bridesmaids ($168.5M), which was one of the biggest surprise smashes of the season.  The Help may eventually reach this same vicinity.


The top ten films grossed an estimated $97.6M, which was up 5% from last year’s four-day holiday when Focus Features’ The American opened in the top spot with $16.7M; and up 1% from 2009’s holiday frame when New Line Cinema‘s The Final Destination stayed at number one with $15.3M.

September 2, 2011 to September 4, 2011 Top Ten

           

           

1.   THE HELP

2.   THE DEBT

  • $12,551,000
  • a Focus release (NBCUniversal)
  • Miramax Films (Filmyard Holdings)

3.   APOLLO 18

  • $10,700,000
  • Dimension Films (Weinstein Co.)

4.   SHARK NIGHT

5.   RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

  • $10,250,000
  • 20th Century Fox (Fox)

6.   COLOMBIANA

  • $9,400,000
  • a TriStar release (Sony)
  • EuropaCorp

7.   OUR IDIOT BROTHER

  • $7,045,000
  • a Weinstein Co. release
  • Big Beach Films

8.   SPY KIDS: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD

  • $6,608,000
  • Dimension Films (Weinstein Co.) and Troublemaker Studios

9.   DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK

  • $6,144,000
  • a FilmDistrict release
  • Miramax Films

10. THE SMURFS

  • $5,600,000
  • Sony Pictures Animation (Sony)

 

September 3, 2010 to September 5, 2010 Top Ten

           

           

1.   THE AMERICAN

  • $16,662,000
  • Focus Features (NBCUniversal)

2.   MACHETE

  • $14,103,000
  • a 20th Century Fox release (Fox)
  • Troublemaker Studios

3.   TAKERS

4.   THE LAST EXORCISM

5.   GOING THE DISTANCE

  • $8,508,000
  • New Line Cinema (Time Warner)

6.   THE EXPENDABLES

  • $8,318,000
  • a Lionsgate release (Lions Gate Entertainment)
  • Nu Image (Millennium Films)

7.   THE OTHER GUYS

8.   EAT PRAY LOVE

  • $6,176,000
  • Columbia Pictures (Sony)

9.   INCEPTION

  • $5,884,000
  • Warner Bros. Pictures (Time Warner)

10. NANNY MCPHEE RETURNS

 

September 4, 2009 to September 6, 2009 Top Ten

           

           

1.   THE FINAL DESTINATION

  • $15,295,000
  • New Line Cinema (Time Warner)

2.   INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS

  • $14,950,000
  • The Weinstein Company and Universal Pictures (NBCUniversal)

3.   ALL ABOUT STEVE

4.   GAMER

5.   DISTRICT 9

6.   JULIE & JULIA

  • $7,078,000
  • Columbia Pictures (Sony)

7.   HALLOWEEN II

  • $6,873,000
  • Dimension Films (Weinstein Co.)

8.   G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA

9.   EXTRACT

  • $5,514,000
  • Miramax Films (Disney)

10. THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE

  • $5,466,000
  • New Line Cinema (Time Warner)
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~ by Matt Whitfield on September 8, 2011.

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