A storm’s a comin’, and it’s going to be a nasty weekend.

With a giant act of nature stomping through the sea towards NY by way of much of the east coast, theater chains are shutting down cineplexes left and right, while between 5%-10% of the weekend’s movie-going public are buying crackers and water to survive flooding, wind and rain. Frankly, it’s a fucking nightmare that could slice off up to a fifth of the weekend’s receipts (whether the storms ultimately manifests as a disaster or not).

With all of this in mind, expect the weekend as a whole to be fairly soft, especially considering it’s the last week of August as well. Amidst all this chaos you’ll see that the safe choice puts The Help at the top spot for a third weekend running, as three smaller movies come out to contend.

Obviously CHUD is keeping a close eye on Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, as Nick played a significant role in making the film happen, and it just happens to be a damn fine horror movie at that. The film is the victim of a studio reshuffling though, and its date is doing it no favors. Audience responses seem to consistently praise the film for its beauty and remark on its effective scariness, so there could be a much larger latent audience for this film than your typical horror movie. This could lead to shallower drops than one might otherwise expect, but everybody’s shits being fucked up by the storm this weekend for sure. I hope FilmDistrict saw what was coming and prepared themselves to push the film during this next week to keep the buzz rolling to next weekend. The answers remain in the shadows.

Colombiana and Our Idiot Brother have likely come out of nowhere for most movie-goers, but Colombiana is selling easy sexy revenge action and might do well enough against the horror film and the indie-looking comedy to snag number two. It’s hard to peg either of these two as we have yet another weekend of way too many small scrappy films clasing against each other for too small of a pie. It’s how The Help has managed consecutive #1 spots, and likely will again.

So here we go, and we’ll comb through the wreckage when the floodwaters recede Monday morning.

The Help ….. $14,000,000
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark ….. $13,500,000
Colombiana …. $11,000,000
Rise of the Apes ….. $9,500,000
Our Idiot Brother ….. $9,000,000

Come back Sunday to wonder what the fuck I was thinking with me.

The thread in which you talk about this stuff.