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Box Office Preview: 'Help' will labor to stay put
Box Office Preview: 'The Help' will labor to stay put at No. 1 this holiday weekend
By The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) ' Disney's "The Help" will be on the job this long Labor Day weekend, trying to fend off all newcomers with about $14 million in domestic receipts as the record-breaking summer movie season comes to a close.

An unstoppable late-summer force since its debut Aug. 10, "The Help" crossed the $100 million mark this past Tuesday as new fans continue to discover the audience-pleasing film.

But if "The Help" wants to advance to a third weekend at No.1, it will have to take one small step for mankind over the Weinstein Co.'s "Apollo 18," which could blast off in the mid-teens. The film attempts to explain why we never went back to the moon after a "secret" final mission.



Relativity's "Shark Night 3-D," the last three-dimensional release of the summer, should take a modest bite out of the box office with a four-day gross in the low teens.

Having already opened on Wednesday with about $1 million, "The Debt" from Focus Features is the third wide-release newcomer this weekend. A decidedly more sophisticated summer release aimed at older audiences, the spy thriller should hunt down about $8 million through Monday.

Rounding out the top five, Sony's stylish "Colombiana" has been a solid mid-week performer bolstered by strong word-of-mouth and should finish with about $7 million by Monday night.

But Fox's "Rise of The Planet of the Apes" could also break into the top 5 on its fifth weekend out as it continues its unexpectedly strong success, with a domestic gross of more than $150 million so far.

The summer movie season will end Monday night with Hollywood taking in a record $4.38 billion in domestic receipts, according to projections by Hollywood.com, up 0.7 percent from last summer. But factoring in this year's higher ticket prices, actual attendance will be down 1.4 percent.

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Paul Dergarabedian is president of the Box Office Division of Hollywood.com and a box office analyst for The Associated Press.

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Online: www.Hollywood.com/boxoffice


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