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‘The Help’ On Top Three Weeks in a Row

The Help beat all new contenders for the third week in a row. The female led drama earned another $14.2 million dropping a mere 2% from last weekend. In the meantime all three newcomers earned less than double digits over the slow holiday weekend. 

The Help hustled across the $100 million milestone and now sits prim and proper with $118.6 million in the coin purse. With little in the way of well critiqued new releases, The Help has been able to dominate with little effort. The Debt, a midweek debut starring Jessica Chastain added $9.6 million over the weekend and sits at a meek $11.5 million. However in comparison to Apollo 18 and Shark Night 3D it is a relative winner. The movie opened on less than 2,000 screens and still managed to outdo both horrors.  

Apollo 18, a found footage horror in space, narrowly beat out creatures-lurking-in-the-water teen horror Shark Night 3D. The former earned $8.7 million at the box office to the latter’s $8.6 million. Both are failures for the genre, with Shark Night 3D feeling further insult thanks to the 3D surcharge.  


The Top Ten
1. The Help - $14.2M (weekend)…$118.6M (gross)
2. The Debt - $9.6M…$11.5M
3. Apollo 18 - $8.7M…$8.6M
4. Shark Night 3D - $8.6M…$8.6M
5. Rise of the Planet of the Apes - $7.8M…$160.0M
6. Colombiana - $7.4M…$21.9M
7. Our Idiot Brother - $5.1M …$15.4M
8. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark - $4.9M…$16.3M
9. Spy Kids: All the Time in the World (2011) - $4.6M…$29.0M
10. The Smurfs - $4.0M …$131.9M 

Three more contenders enter the box office race next weekend. Two are highly regarded due in no small part to their all star casts, the other is Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star. Opening in 1,400 locations, this stupid comedy follows the exploits of a mop head, bucktooth, Bucky Larson. He is a dork from the Midwest who comes to Hollywood in search of fame… as a porn star. Nick Swardson stars, Adam Sandler wrote, and no one will bother to see. Unfortunately this team hasn’t found great success, particularly Swardson as a box office draw. He is a wingman not a top billed actor, and the failure of this vehicle will prove it.   


The widest release is Contagion at 3,100 theaters. This movie boasts an ensemble A-list cast anchored by Jude Law and Matt Damon and also featuring Gwyneth Paltrow, Laurence Fishburne, Kate Winslet, and Marion Cotillard. Steven Soderbergh, who is apparently retiring, directed and produced the feature which centers on an unstoppable global virus. It brings to mind movies like Outbreak, which did relatively well in 1995 but may not have legs given the release window and its competition. Besides that, audiences are sold by storie,s not stars. Unless you’re Will Smith moviegoers expect a coherent story and/or great visual effects to give the thumbs up.

Splitting the middle of the race is Tom Hardy’s Warrior in 1,700 cinemas. It is part fight movie part harrowing drama and all Rocky wannabe. Audiences last year couldn’t get enough of The Fighter. The Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale combination was good enough for $129 million - not bad for a $25 million budget. Warrior made a good move in bumping down to PG-13 verses the R-rated The Fighter. It also took a lesson from Cinderella Man and went with a manly title. However, no fight movie has been able to distinguish itself quite like Rocky Balboa. It was the twist of a female fighter and the incredible acting, stars, and direction of Million Dollar Baby that made that tugboat swim. Is mixed martial arts enough of a difference to pull in an audience? Make your prediction in the comment section of the Box Office Wizard article this Friday right here on Player Affinity.

Your Player Affinity hosts of The Plot Hole movie podcast discuss their opinions of new releases every Tuesday night. Listen to Episode 21 to hear the latest reviews (see www.playeraffinity.com/podcast this Tuesday night).



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