The Help continued to lead the way on Thursday, while The Debt held up very well.

‘The Help’ #1 on Thursday; Good Hold for ‘The Debt’

on September 02, 2011 by Daniel Garris

The Help grossed $1.78 million on Thursday to lead the daily box office for an 18th consecutive day. The crowd pleasing Disney released DreamWorks film was down a slim 1 percent from Wednesday and down 32 percent from last Thursday. The Help was the week's top film with a weekly take of $22.09 million. That was down 29 percent from the previous frame and places the film's 23-day total at a much better than expected $104.39 million. The Help is set to hold up very well once again this weekend and is the favorite to remain at the top of the box office over the four-day holiday frame.

After a better than expected start on Wednesday, The Debt held up very nicely on Thursday. The Focus release starring Helen Mirren fell just 4 percent from Wednesday to hold steady in second place with $0.93 million. In comparison to previous Wednesday before Labor Day releases from Focus, last year's The American fell 12 percent on its first Thursday, while 2005's The Constant Gardener fell 15 percent. With a two-day start of $1.90 million, The Debt is running 40 percent behind the pace of The American and 10 percent ahead of the pace of The Constant Gardener. At its current pace The Debt appears headed for a four-day weekend in the range of $10 million to $13 million, which would place the film's six-day range at $12 million to $15 million.

Sony's Colombiana remained in third place with $0.83 million. After experiencing a big decline on Wednesday, the TriStar release starring Zoe Saldana stabilized on Thursday by falling 5 percent from Wednesday. Colombiana grossed $14.56 million for the week. That was towards the lower end of pre-release expectations and good enough for second place for the frame. Colombiana is currently running 12 percent behind the pace of last year's Machete and will continue to make up ground in that comparison over the holiday weekend.

Fellow new releases Our Idiot Brother and Don't Be Afraid of the Dark took fifth and sixth place respectively. The Weinstein Company's Our Idiot Brother fell 11 percent from Wednesday to gross $0.64 million, while FilmDistrict's Don't Be Afraid of the Dark fell 4 percent to gross $0.597 million. For the week Don't Be Afraid of the Dark finished in fourth place (behind Fox's Rise of the Planet of the Apes) with $11.44 million. Our Idiot Brother followed closely behind in fifth with $10.24 million. Both films opened below expectations; Don't Be Afraid of the Dark a bit more so than Our Idiot Brother.

Follow @DanielBOXOFFICE on Twitter for additional box office updates.

Tags: Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, Our Idiot Brother, Colombiana, The Debt, The Help

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