Happy Labor Day, Everyone.
“The Help” continues to rule at the box office. There was a respectable bow by the Holocaust drama “The Debt,” while horror newbies “Apollo 18” and “Shark Night” underperformed.
Courtesy of BoxOffice Mojo, here’s the weekend, by the numbers:
Title: Weekend: Total:
1. The Help $14.2m $118m
2. The Debt $9.7m $11.6m
3. Apollo 18 $8.7m $8.7m
4. Shark Night $8.6m $8.6m
5. Planet of the Apes $7.8m $160m
6. Colombiana $7.4m $22m
7. Our Idiot Brother $5.1m $15.4m
8. Don’t Be Afraid $4.9m $16.3m
9. Spy Kids $4.6m $29m
10. The Smurfs $4m $132m
With the numbers out of the way, perhaps it’s only fitting to take a look at the summer movie season that was — and it wasn’t pretty.
Hollywood suffered its fourth, consecutive summer of declines this season. High ticket prices and the slumping economy conspired to keep audiences out of the theaters. Though I can’t help but think that a summer full of endless retreads, remakes and reboots might also have had something to do with it.
Here’s the nut graf from Sunday’s New York Times:
“The bad news: higher ticket prices, especially for the 18 films released in 3-D (up from seven last summer), drove the increase. Attendance for the period is projected to total about 543 million, the lowest tally since the summer of 1997, when 540 million people turned up.
Hollywood has now experienced four consecutive summers of eroding attendance, a cause for alarm for both studios and the publicly traded theater chains. One or two soft years can be dismissed as an aberration; four signal real trouble."
The Times piece notes that there were some bright spots in the form of the final installment of the “Harry Potter” saga, the third ‘Transformers” flick and superhero flims “Captain America” and “Thor.” That mitigated the damage of some of the winter flops such as “Mars Needs Moms.”
But “after the first quarter, ticket sales were down a staggering 20 percent compared with the same period in 2010. Sales lag 4 percent for the year,” The Times reported.
Read the full story here.