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Who knew period drama “The Help” would have such strong legs? Even Hurricane Irene couldn’t keep the supposedly “inspiration” chick flick from taking top spot at the box office once again. If anyone tells you that they knew all along that the film would still be #1 after three weeks of release, they’re big fat liars. In its third week, the Emma Stone drama has added an additional $14 million to its coffers, giving it $96 million along with a comfortable lead over three new studio challengers. You can blame the 24-7 talk of hurricane disasters for the weekend’s middling box office overall.
Of the three, the Zoe Saldana actioner “Colombiana”, from the action movie assembly line of one Luc Besson, came closest to challenging “The Help” with a studio estimated $10.3 million debut. Not a great haul by any stretch, but that’s to be expected given that, like most Besson-produced action flicks nowadays, the film gets progressively worst if you start thinking too much about the script. Fortunately there’s Zoe Saldana to help you not think too much about that stuff. And if you can buy a 100-pound-ish Saldana going around kicking ass and not taking names, bad scripting shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
“Colombiana”, which was budgeted at $40 million, came in second place, beating out fellow newcomers “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark”, which opened in third place with $8.6 million, and the Paul Rudd comedy “Our Idiot Brother”, which opened in fifth place with $6.5 million. When you consider that the Guillermo del Toro-produced “Dark” needed $25 million to eventually flounder at the box office, while “Brother” only needed a shockingly low $4 million, there’s no getting around that “Brother” performed up to (and even exceeding) expectations, while “Dark” and “Colombiana” did not.
Meanwhile, last week’s #2, FOX’s surprise hit “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” fell to fourth place in its fourth week, adding an additional $8.6 million to its take, giving it a total of $148 in domestic box office, and $271 million worldwide. You can expect more rising from the “Planet of the Apes” very soon…