Box Office Preview: ‘The Help’ to clean up again

LOS ANGELES (AP) ? Disney’s late-summer hit “The Help” should stay busy atop the domestic box office chart for a second straight weekend with a gross in the high teens.

The film opened three weeks ago in the No. 2 spot, but has achieved dominance in the marketplace as great word-of-mouth for the film sweeps the nation. The weekly drop rate has been impressively low and the $100 million mark should be within reach by Sunday night.

Sony’s debuting “Colombiana” will add some late-season sizzle to the mix, with Zoe Saldana kicking butt as a cold-blooded assassin in this stylized PG-13 romp. Expect a gross in the mid-teens as action aficionados hit theaters for a last blast of bloodshed.

Also opening this weekend is the offbeat, R-rated comedy “Our Idiot Bother” from the Weinstein Company and the producers of “Little Miss Sunshine.” A low-teen debut is expected for the film starring comedy mainstay Paul Rudd as a stoned-out idealist who crashes into the lives of his sisters.

Yet another horror remake creeps into theaters this weekend as Film District’s “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” updates the 1973 TV movie of the same name with the unique sensibility of Guillermo del Toro, who served as co-screenwriter. Starring Katie Holmes and Guy Pearce, this R-rated story of a young girl who discovers creatures in her new home is sure to send horror fans to the multiplex looking for a good scare and an opening weekend of around $11 million.

Fox’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” enters its fourth weekend with a likely finish in the top five at around $8 million and close to $150 million in domestic revenue by Sunday night.


Paul Dergarabedian is president of the Box Office Division of and a box office analyst for The Associated Press.