At Theaters Storm Outside, Doldrums Inside
For three weeks, box-office pundits have been writing that The Help has "exceeded expectations." Now it's expected to top the box office again, and the question is is that expectation too high? Analysts have been searching record books to find another example of a movie that did not open in first place but then moved to the top of the box office and held onto it for the next two weeks. Daily Variety found two movies that climbed to No. 1 in their third week, The Blind Side and True Grit, but no film that managed to stay in the top spot for multiple weeks after failing to make it there on its debut. In any case, if a hurricane is going to keep people behind closed doors at home, this is probably a good time for it, given the usual weakness of the box office at this time of year. The studios are releasing no heavy hitters. Indeed, the major studios are releasing nothing of their own. Film District is launching Don't Be Afraid of the Dark , which director Guillermo Del Toro wrote and produced more than two years ago for Miramax but which got caught up in the upheaval when Disney decided to close the unit and sell it off. The Weinstein Co. is opening the comedy Our Idiot Brother , which it acquired at the Sundance Film Festival, where it got mostly terrific reviews. And Sony Classics is releasing Colombiana , which was made by EuropaCorp, a French studio co-founded by director Luc Besson, who also wrote and produced the movie. Dark and Brother are each expected to earn about $10-12 million; Colombiana, around $8-10 million.