August 26, 2011



UPDATE:  The Reporter has some early Friday numbers, and the storm’s effect can already be seen at the boxoffice.  THE HELP seems likely to win the weekend as expected, but with a lower-than anticipated $12-13M.  COLOMBIANA was in second on Friday, heading for a weekend of perhaps $10M.  DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK and RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES could follow with around $8M each, slightly ahead of OUR IDIOT BROTHER with about $7M.  Of course, extrapolations of Friday numbers to the weekend are more difficult than usual because of the uncertainty surrounding Hurricane Irene, so those numbers may well shift as the weekend continues.

The effect of Hurricane Irene on movie boxoffice this weekend is, of course, the least of the devastation the storm could cause.  Nevertheless, several Hollywood studios seem likely to be part of the collateral damage over the next few days.  The Hollywood Reporter says that Clearview Cinemas is shutting all its theatres (which cover the Philadelphia to NY area, including Manhattan’s flagship Ziegfeld Theatre) for the weekend, while AMC will be closed in the Virginia, Baltimore and DC areas on Saturday, and additional closings on Sunday may well follow the storm as it moves north.  Regal Cinemas, the largest chain in the country, is also considering closings.  

One estimate has the boxoffice declining 10-20% for the weekend due to the storm.  Hardest hit will be Sony, The Weinstein Company and FilmDistrict, with their openings of Colombiana, Our Idiot Brother and Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, respectively (those numbers were expected to be weak anyway–see Mitch Metcalf’s weekend boxoffice predictions); the holdover business for Dreamworks/Disney’s The Help, which was expected to win the weekend, will also likely be affected.
Stay with SHOWBUZZDAILY all weekend for updates about the weekend boxoffice and how it’s being affected by Irene.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."