Film CHUD Pred Weekend Per Total
1 The Help $14m (-.6) $14,606,000 (+.5%) $5,138 $118,997,000
2 The Debt $9.5m (-.4) $9,916,000 $5,430 $11,818,000
3 Apollo 18
$13.5m (+4.8) $8,700,000 $2,614 $8,700,000
4 Shark Night 3D
$10m (+1.6) $8,390,000 $2,990 $8,390,000
5 Rise of the Apes
$9m (+1.1) $7,900,000 (-10.9%) $2,474 $160,125,000
6 Colombiana - $7,450,000 (-28.4%) $2,850 $22,012,000
7 Our Idiot Brother - $5,465,000 (-22.1%) $2,139 $15,700,000
8 Don’t Be Afraid… - $5,144,000 (-39.8%) $1,850 $16,584,000
9 Spy Kids 4
- $4,821,000 (19.7%) $1,603 $29,220,000
10 Smurfs
- $4,100,000 (-13.8%) $1,515 $132,053,000

Avg. CHUD Prediction Difference: +/- $1.9m

The summer has drawn to a close (there’s the occasional chill in the air in GA these days even) and the box office results and the cineplex itself really have both grown pretty boring right before it explodes with interesting stuff. This weekend there’s a bit of added interest with Labor Day estimates, but really it feels like time to shake out the carpets and let “prestige season” take over.

The Help ruled again (first since Inception to do so as many consecutive weekends) with very weak competition, drawing in almost $20m more with the Holiday included. It’s on its way to $150 for sure, but this thing has to start dropping sometime. Right? The only other major change to the board with the extra Holiday numbers is Spy Kids 4 hopping over Don’t Be Afraid with that extra family money. That said, storm-screwed Don’t Be Afraid and Colombiana had decent holds, even if their opening numbers were too small for that to be significant money for either of them. Still, it suggests some folks out there caught on and made sure to hit a screening before they get crowded out, and that some of the latent Hurricane audiences showed up.

The Debt was the surprise of the weekend, leaping over the not-so-surprising horror flops this weekend to claim number 2. I suspected the film might do alright by appealing to adult audiences that had already caught The Help and didn’t see much else among the leftovers or new poop to see. That ended up being enough of a factor to drive a surprisingly high showing, though I don’t see the film maintaining much momentum through awards season or anything. Ultimately it’s just too messy to stay relevant to awards audiences.

Apollo 18 still managed to beat Shark Night’s bigger budget and higher price premiums, but was still soft compared to expectations. Had they not split the audiences maybe one or the other could have had a decent opening, but as it is they were both bested by an adult drama on +1000 less screens.

It’s rainy and bleak out right now on this quiet Labor Day which seems appropriate enough. I hope you’re all relaxing and enjoying yourselves, as they most exciting time of the year is upon us. Word is coming out from Venice about a bunch of films we’ve been keeping our eye on, and some long-hyped prestige titles are very near their release dates. You shouldn’t be shy about hitting the cineplex in the coming months…

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