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Weekend Wrap-Up: Painless Labor Marks End of Summer

September 7th, 2011

We had a pleasant surprise over Labor Day long weekend as the holdover held on a lot better than expected, while the new releases were on par with expectations, at least on average. (One struggled, one came within a rounding error of the weekend prediction, and one crushed expectations.) This led to a total box office haul of $107 million from Friday through Sunday and $137 million if you include Monday. By comparison, last year the total box office was $106 million / $133 million. It was a close win, but a win's a win. Overall 2011 is behind 2010 by 4% at $7.46 billion to $7.78 billion. There's a slim chance 2011 will close the gap and come out on top in the end, but in order to do that, it will need to earn bigger victories than it did this weekend.

The Help remained in first place for the third weekend in a row. Earning the hat-trick is especially rare these days, but completing the threepeat after missing first place during its opening weekend is practically unheard of. Over the three-day portion of the weekend, it earned $14.59 million, while if you add in Monday, it made $19.88 million. It made more over three days than most were expecting it to earn over four. It grew week-to-week when you compared three-day numbers. Its total box office is $124.27 million after just under a month of release and at this pace, it should be able to climb over $150 million in total.

The biggest surprise of the weekend was The Debt, which grabbed second place over the weekend with $9.91 million from Friday through Sunday and $12.85 million including Monday, for a total opening of $14.75 million. These are not blockbuster numbers, but it's better than most expected and the strong growth from its opening day suggests its overwhelmingly positive reviews are having a positive effect and this bodes well for the coming weeks.

Apollo 18 opened in third place with $8.70 million / $10.71 million, which was quite a bit below Thursday's prediction. On the other hand, it's twice as much as its reported product budget. I don't expect the film to last long in theaters, not given its reviews, but by the time it hits the home market, it should be very close to breaking even.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes earned fifth place over the three-day portion of the weekend with $7.92 million, but earned fourth place over four days with $10.33 million. Its running tally is now $162.55 million, which is likely enough to cover its entire production budget.

Shark Night 3D's opening weekend figures were within a rounding error of expectations at $8.40 million / $10.13 million. However, its terrible reviews and the overall decline from Friday to Monday suggest it won't last long in theaters. It might last long enough to match its production budget, but it will likely have to wait till the home market before it shows a profit.

Looking in on the sophomore class, we find Our Idiot Brother in seventh place with $5.45 million / $7.04 million. It had one of the best week-to-week declines on the chart, and with a two-week total of $17.27 million, it has already surpassed original expectations. On the other hand, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark is struggling more with $5.20 million / $6.38 million over the weekend for a total of $17.88 million after two.


Filed under: Weekend Box Office, The Debt, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Help, Our Idiot Brother, Apollo 18, Shark Night 3D