‘The Help’ Makes it 3 in a Row!

Disney’s The Help from Dreamworks makes it three weekends on top as it took on another crop of newcomers wound up with an impressive and much bigger than expected $19 million for the four day period. An unstoppable late summer force since its debut, it crossed the $120 million mark this weekend as new fans continue to discover this audience-pleasing film.

Opening last Wednesday, The Debt from Focus Features surprised everyone with its second place finish with $12.5 million for Friday through Monday. Offering up a decidedly more sophisticated summer release aimed at older audiences it benefited from a solid marketing campaign and a terrific trailer. The espionage thriller boasts an amazing cast including Helen Mirren and Tom Wilkinson and is directed by Shakespeare in Love’s John Madden.

Weinstein Co.’s intriguing thriller Apollo 18 blasted off with $10.7 million for 4 days taking the third spot. The film attempts to explain why we never went back to the moon after a “secret” final mission and drew fans looking for something out of the ordinary this weekend.

The last 3-D release of the summer took a bite out of the box office as Relativity’s Shark Night 3-D bloodied the waters with a weekend gross of $10.3 million. The PG-13 horror film attracted the teen date crowd looking to sink their teeth into a final summer scare at the movie theater.

Rounding out the top 5, Fox’s Rise of The Planet of the Apes completes its fifth weekend with another solid haul of $10.25 as it continues to its unexpectedly strong success and a week that saw it climb over the $160 million mark in North America.

The final weekend of the summer was stronger than expected as The Help continues to score big with audiences. Record breaking revenues of $4.38 billion gave Hollywood its biggest summer yet as we head in what looks to be a killer Fall and Holiday period at the box office with a strong mix of Oscar contenders, summer-style blockbusters, comedies and big stars heading our way in the coming months.

Labor Day Weekend Box Office
Top Movies for Weekend of September 2, 2011 (estimates)
Movie F-S-S-M Gross Total to Date
1 The Help (PG13) $19.0M $123.4M
2 The Debt (R) $12.5M $14.45M
3 Apollo 18 (PG13) $10.7M $10.7M
4 Shark Night (NR) $10.3M $10.3M
5 Rise of the Planet of the Apes (PG13) $10.2M $162.5M