The Help continued its dominance at the North American box office on Friday despite Hurricane Irene forcing evacuations along much of the North Atlantic coastline. The biggest effects on the box office won’t be felt until Saturday and Sunday’s numbers are reported.
Three newcomers couldn’t edge in front of The Help which continues to play strong at the box office. Off a mere 24% from the previous Friday, The Help pulled in $4.4 million and should end the weekend just north of $10 million.
Zoe Saldana in Luc Besson’s Colombiana took second place with $3.75 million, while Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark starring Katie Holmes scared up $3.6 million for third place. Both films will need minimal impact from Irene in order to reach $10 million for the weekend.
The other newcomer this week, Our Idiot Brother starring Paul Rudd, scraped together $2.6 million. Expect a $6 million or so weekend from the R-rated comedy.
Ahead of Our Idiot Brother in fourth place is Fox’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes with $2.6 million. Caesar and friends should also finish the weekend in the $6 million range. Amazon.com is already taking pre-orders for the prequel on Blu-ray and DVD.
The complete weekend box office studio estimates will be published Sunday afternoon. You can see our Prophet and reader predictions for the weekend on our Weekend Box Office Prophet Game page.