In what should be its last day at the top of the daily box office, The Help led the way on Thursday with $1.30 million. The crowd pleasing Disney released DreamWorks film has led the daily box office for the past 25 days and for 27 of the past 30 days. On a day where most wide releases took a clear hit from the opening night NFL game between the Green Bay Packers and the New Orleans Saints, The Help was an exception as it fell just 3 percent from Wednesday and 27 percent from last Thursday. The Help was easily the week's top film with a weekly take of $24.01 million. That was up 9 percent over the previous week and places the film's 30-day domestic total at $128.40 million
The Debt grossed $0.66 million to take second place once again. The modestly budgeted Focus release starring Helen Mirren fell 12 percent from Wednesday and a slim 29 percent from last Thursday. Labor Day weekend releases typically don't hold up well in their second weekend of release, but The Debt is looking like it will be an exception to that rule this weekend. The Debt took second place for the week with $15.20 million, as it was unexpectedly able to open stronger than fellow new wide releases Apollo 18 and Shark Night 3D. The nine-day start for The Debt stands at $17.10 million.
Sony's Colombiana held steady in third place with $0.45 million. The action film starring Zoe Saldana was down 12 percent from Wednesday and down 45 percent from last Thursday. Colombiana took sixth place for the week with $11.22 million. That was down just 22 percent from the film's opening week performance (which had been deflated by Hurricane Irene) and places the film's two-week total at a respectable $25.78 million.
Genre films Apollo 18 and Shark Night 3D continued to fall off quickly on Thursday. The two films continue to perform very similarly the one another as well, as The Weinstein Company's Apollo 18 was down 19 percent from Wednesday to gross $0.35 million, while Shark Night 3D was down 18 percent to gross $0.28 million. For the week Apollo 18 took third place with a seven-day start of $12.09 million and Shark Night 3D finished in fifth with $11.26 million. While Apollo 18 had the greater pre-release expectations of the two films, it was also carried a smaller price tag than that of Shark Night 3D.
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