The typically slow month of September is off to a decent start at the Box Office as it is up 8% over the last weekend in August. We are gradually approaching the time of year where wide releases rarely earn over $30 million in an opening weekend and limited releases can earn $50,000+ per screen. There were no enormous limited release films this weekend, but there also weren’t any films that earned less than $4 million and stayed in the top ten.
Box Office Estimates
September 2-4, 2011
1) The Help (4th Weekend)
ESTIMATE: $14.21 million
This will probably be the last weekend where The Help stays on top of the Box Office, but it’s held on long enough for over $100 million. It dropped barely 2% in its 4th weekend and still made a respectable amount. It still remains to be seen whether or not this Box Office success will translate to Oscar success. I still remain skeptical.
2) The Debt (Opening)
ESTIMATE: $9.68 million
The Debt actually earned more than The Help in per theatre average this week, but it The Debt played on 1,000 fewer screens so it’s total was significantly less. The film’s total might have been a little higher for the weekend if it hadn’t opened on Wednesday.
3) Apollo 18 (Opening)
ESTIMATE: $8.7 million
This science fiction film had the opposite effect of The Debt where it had a very low per theatre average, but was on enough screens that it came out all right. This doesn’t seem like the type of film that will be able to compete with the Fall horror films, so I don’t expect it to remain in the top ten for much longer.
4) Shark Night 3D (Opening)
ESTIMATE: $8.64 million
This film and Apollo 18 are so neck and neck that they might swap positions when the actuals come in tomorrow. The film made more than Apollo 18 in per theatre average, but it also has higher ticket prices because of 3D. Like I said about Apollo 18, I don’t expect Shark Night to stick around when more Fall horror releases come out.
5) Rise of the Planet of the Apes (5th Weekend)
ESTIMATE: $7.8 million
Five weekends in a row in the top 5 is not too shabby at all. The film is currently the 11th highest grossing film of 2011 and the 10th highest grossing film of the Summer. After next weekend it will likely be the 9th highest of the year and 8th highest for the Summer and when all is said and done it could be even one spot higher than that. Not bad at all for an August release.
6) Colombiana (2nd Weekend)
ESTIMATE: $7.4 million
Last week I said that Hurricane Irene hurt a lot of films and that is probably why many films did not drop as much this week compared to last week. However, Colombiana still managed to drop over 28%, which is not a great sign.
7) Our Idiot Brother (2nd Weekend)
ESTIMATE: $5.18 million
This film is not doing monster business, but considering it was made for $5 million it is still a success. If it weren’t for Paul Rudd in the lead role, I imagine the film might have only gotten a limited release in a few dozen theatres.
8) Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (2nd Weekend)
ESTIMATE: $4.94 million
With a drop of 42% in its second weekend, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark is this weekend’s biggest loser. The reviews did not help its cause, I am sure and it has to be considered a disappointment for Guillermo Del Toro.
9) Spy Kids: All the Time in the World (3rd Weekend)
ESTIMATE: $4.64 million
Do they charge more for the 4th D? (Technically D stands for Dimension, but it’s illogical to consider smell a dimension.)
10) The Smurfs (6th Weekend)
ESTIMATE: $4 million
Did you know The Smurfs has earned more than $130 million domestically and $428 million Worldwide? Look forward to The Smurfs 2 in the Summer of 2013.
Estimates are courtesy of Box Office Mojo. Look for Warrior to fight Contagion for the number one spot at the Box Office next weekend with The Help getting knocked down to number three.