The box office results for the weekend of August 26th – 28th sees mother nature destroy many new release hopefuls chances at profitability. With the east coast on lockdown due to hurricane Irene, The Help survived another week at the top spot. Here are the studio estimates:

1. The Help ($14.3 million)

2. Colombiana ($10.3 million)

3. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark ($8.6 million)

4. Rise of the Planet of the Apes ($8.6 million)

5. Our Idiot Brother ($6.5 million)

6. Spy Kids: All The Time in The World ($5.7 million)

7. The Smurfs ($4.8 million)

8. Conan the Barbarian ($3.1 million)

9. Fright Night ($3 million)

10. Crazy, Stupid Love ($2.9 million)

Analysis

Well the only flick that isn’t in any financial trouble is Our Idiot Brother. The Sundance favorite only rang up a $5 million production budget and the limited marketing costs shouldn’t hamper this from turning a profit in the upcoming weeks. However, it will be interesting to see just how much of a draw Paul Rudd is without the Apatow backing.

Colombiana may be in the worst shape out of all the new guys. The $40 million critically panned production was already relying heavily on the niche market this action/spy flick is geared toward. Although the hurricane had some effect on the opening weekend, this genre usually doesn’t gross more than $15 million anyways. So although during the week showings may help out a bit, TriStar Pictures will not have a winner on its hands.

Horror movies rarely perform well in August unless it is an established franchise (Final Destination, Halloween, etc.). Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark only came with a $25 million production budget, yet audiences are not in the mood to seek out this genre just yet. DVD and On-Demand is the only chance this remake has.

The Smurfs and Crazy, Stupid, Love currently hold the longest streak in the top ten with 5 weeks apiece. The latter will need some help from the DVD run while the former is a worldwide success ($337 million off a $125 million P.B.)

Flop Alert: Conan the Barbarian. Dropping 69% from its opening and having a $90 million production budget is a deathblow Lionsgate. International totals will be sparse and don’t expect the rebooted franchise to do anything in the future unless its direct-to-DVD.

Sleeper Hit: Rise of the Planet of the Apes is up to $271 million worldwide. The $93 million production is doing big business for 20th Century Fox. The strategic move to bump up the release date from November to August clearly paid off.

This Friday – and Wednesday actually – brings three new flicks in to close out the summer blockbuster season. The Debt jumps in on Wednesday while Shark Night 3D and Apollo 18 enter in on Friday. Reviews will be right here my fellow Shockers.

Report by Joe Belcastro

The Help
Still cleaning up at theatres

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By Joe Belcastro

Joe Belcastro is an established movie critic in Tampa, Florida. As a member of the Florida Film Critics Circle, most of his time is spent reviewing upcoming movies. He also covers news pertaining to the film industry, on both a local and national level as well as conducting interviews. To contact Joe Belcastro regarding a story or with general questions about his services, please e-mail him and/or follow him on Twiiter @TheWritingDemon.

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