September likely won’t start off with a bang, but did anyone really expect it to? We’ve got three wide releases arriving this weekend, two of which are in direct competition and the third is only getting 1,826 theaters. Between Shark Night 3D and Apollo 18, my money is on Apollo 18 simply because it’s getting over 500 more locations. However, that doesn’t mean Apollo 18 will make a killing. (No pun intended). Should it post a per theater average on par with that of The Fourth Kind, Apollo 18 could amass about $16 million by Sunday and $21 million by the end of the holiday weekend. As for Shark Night, it’ll be lucky to open with as much as last year’s Piranha 3D, earning about $10 million in three days and about $14 million in four. Lastly, The Debt is getting an early start courtesy of its Wednesday opening, but in terms of the holiday weekend, it’s looking at $11 million stemming from a per theater average similar to that of The American.
As for our veterans, with no solid competition, The Help, Colombiana and Rise of the Planet of the Apes could hold strong. There’s absolutely no reason to think The Help will fall more than 25% and that would give it another $10 million for three days and possibly $14 million for the four-day weekend. Colombiana didn’t have a great opening, but it was better than expected and the same should be true this time around. Should Colombiana drop 35%, it’ll take about $6 million for three days and $9 million for four.
Last weekend Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark was nipping at Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ heels, but thanks to the double dose of horror this weekend, that gap should widen in Apes’ favor. I’d say Apes is poised to take another 45% hit, but considering it’s losing 198 theaters, that drop will fall more along the lines of 50%, leaving it with $4 million for three days and a total of $6 million by the end of the long weekend. In true genre fashion, Don’t Be Afraid could be heading towards a 60% week one to two drop. That would leave it with just $4.5 million after four days.
Our Idiot Brother could steal the 6th spot from Don’t Be Afraid courtesy of that freefall. Should Our Idiot Brother drop 40%, it’ll take in about $5.5 million by the end of the holiday weekend. As for the last two spots, Spy Kids: All the Time in the World and The Smurfs will switch places thanks to Spy Kids’ 298 theater loss as compared to The Smurfs’ 155 theater decline. Should Spy Kids plummet and lose 55% of its week two earnings it’ll take $3.5 million for four days while The Smurfs should only drop about 45% and take in the slightest bit more.
1. Apollo 18
2. The Help
3. Shark Night 3D
4. The Debt
6. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
7. Our Idiot Brother
8. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
9. The Smurfs
10. Spy Kids: All the Time in the World
By Perri Nemiroff (via Box Office Mojo)