September 3, 2011


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Written by: Mitch Salem
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Friday numbers have been posted by the Hollywood Reporter, and it looks like another lousy Labor Day weekend for the new openings.  All the good news, as has been the case in recent weeks, is confined to THE HELP, which looks to be down only 20% or so from last Friday, and should do around $12M for the Fri-Sun period and $14M for the full holiday weekend.  
After that, things go downhill.  Dimension’s APOLLO 18, aka The Blair Witch Project On The Moon, may get to $9M for Fri-Sun and $11M including the holiday.  The picture was very low budget, but it still required marketing costs that were probably $10-15M, so it’s not much more than a breakeven proposition at best.  Relativity’s competing horror SHARK NIGHT 3D fared worse, with perhaps $7M over 3 days and $9M over 4.  Comparatively speaking, Focus’s  THE DEBT looks a little better with $6M/8M because it’s in only around 1800 theatres, 1000 fewer than Shark Night and just over half of Apollo‘s–but that argument cuts both ways, and spin attempts to compare the movie to Focus’s successful Labor Day opener The Constant Gardener ignore the fact that Debt is in 30% more theatres than Gardener.  

Stay with SHOWBUZZDAILY all weekend for updated boxoffice numbers and Mitch Metcalf’s Friday analysis on Saturday morning. 

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."