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Weekend Box Office: Third Time's a Charmed Week for The Help

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By Chris Kavan - 08/29/11 at 01:17 AM CT

It was another winning week for The Help as, in a repeat from last week, all new films failed to find much of an audience.

With the week's best holdover rate, falling just 28.4%, The Help took in another $14.3 million in its third time out and now has a $96.6 million total, rocketing past Julie & Julia's total gross. It should have no problem breaking $100 in the next few days.

Being the best of the mediocre, Colombiana with Zoe Saldana took in $10.3 million - good enough for second place. Surprising for an action film, 57% of the audience was female. Still, while it did better than The Losers (also starring Saldana) opening of $9.4 million, it was on the low end for an action film in general.

In third place, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark only scared up about $8.7 million. Despite the influence from Guillermo del Toro, the supernatural horror film didn't find a connection with audiences. While it is in better shape to make back its budget of just $25 million, it was still on the low end for its genre.

Our Idiot Brother with Paul Rudd landed in 5th with just over $6.5 million. Maybe audiences are finally tiring of R-rated comedies, as this was the second film (following The Change-Up) to under perform at the box office. It couldn't even match the mediocre debut of The Switch, which took in $8.7 last August.

Rounding out the top five films, Rise of the Planet of the Apes was in 4th place with $8.65 million and now stands at $148.5 million. Despite taking a decent hit of over 46%, Apes shouldn't have any problem hitting the $150 million milestone in the coming days.

Last week's disappointing openings made for a big second-week tumble. Leading the pack, Conan took a mighty 69% drop landing with a thud in 8th place with $3.1 million. With just a $16.5 million total, it won't get anywhere near its $90 million budget.

Fright Night lost a lot of its blood, falling 61% to take in just over $3 million for 9th place. The remake has taken in just over $14 million and while its budget is only $30 million, it probably won't make up those numbers either.

Hollywood is quick to blame Hurricane Irene (which, like many of the films lately, turned out to be all bark and little bite) for the low numbers (actually, the second slowest weekend after Super Bowl weekend back in February). But maybe it also has to do with the quality of films - not just the weather.

Time will tell: next week The Debt throws down the drama with the thrills, found footage goes to the moon with Apollo 18 and teens become snack food in Shark Night 3D. We'll see if any have enough power to take down The Help.

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