The Reject ReportOr the dark. There’s actually probably more to be afraid of in the dark than in this week’s Reject Report. Unless, of course, you have a phobia of numbers. Arithmophobia. It’s a real thing. Thanks, Google.

But back to this week’s offerings. We’ve got a horror movie, a female assassin actioner, and a Sundance comedy starring Paul Rudd. Needless to say, it’s not a matter of if The Help will lead the pack for the third weekend in a row. It’s a matter of by how much. It could be a close race, and when all is said and done it doesn’t look like the weekend numbers will be anything to be thrilled about. In fact, you can sweep them under the rug. With the dust. Because you’re frightened of that, too. Koniophobia. Thanks again, Google!

BIG HITTERS

The biggest draw to Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark is producer Guillermo del Toro, but despite being a huge favorite in the movie fan world, he isn’t exactly a magnet for awesome box office numbers. Even with movies he’s directed, his three biggest openings were Blade II ($32.5m opening weekend), Hellboy ($23.1m opening), and Hellboy II ($34.5m opening), but all of those were comic book properties. Beyond that, his best debut was the $7.8m Mimic made in 1997. It isn’t like Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark has much brand recognition being a remake. How many really remember the 1973 original? I just had to look up the fact that it was 1973. The R-rated horror element about it will sell some tickets. Del Toro’s name will sell a few more. However, even with it breaking past $10m, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark will struggle to do much better.

Here, just because we weren’t freaked out enough by numbers and dust, is the teaser for Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark. And, yes, I just turned around and looked behind me:

Zoe Saldana is a badass in Colombiana. She’s an assassin out for blood and vengeance on the people who killed her family. But as awesome as she is, I’m not sure she could beat up the name of Colombiana’s director. Olivier Megaton – yes, M-E-G-A-T-O-N – previously had success with Transporter 3. That Jason Statham sequel opened with $12m in 2008. Colombiana has the potential to show its finely toned legs – still talking about the movie here – and wind up a success, but its opening weekend will still hit single digits. Sorry, Zoe. Sorry, Megaton. Don’t nuke me.

Speaking of single digits, Our Idiot Brother. Wait, this movie is even coming out? Have you seen a trailer or commercial for it? I know I haven’t. I just remember hearing about it when it played Sundance, and I’m shocked to see that now it’s opening on over 2500 screens. Those Weinsteins must be rolling in the dough. All that PG-13 King’s Speech money is finally paying audiences back. Maybe it’s time for a prognostication. $7.6m? Sounds good.

FAMILIARITIES

Despite three new movies hitting wide, it’s looking like The Help will repeat. Even though it’s in its third weekend, you can’t really say it’ll win the third weekend in a row since Rise of the Planet of the Apes topped the charts that first weekend. Still, The Help – and Apes, for that matter – is still driving its way up and up to becoming the breakout hit of the Summer. So far it’s at $79.6m in domestic gross, hasn’t even opened in foreign markets, and seems likely to get some kind of re-release before the end of the year for Oscar consideration. Expect another 25% or somewhere around there drop for The Help this weekend.

Also, expect Apes to top $150m domestic this weekend, bringing its worldwide total to somewhere around $270m. That’s still not close to what Burton’s 2001 remake made worldwide, but A) no one was expecting these kinds of numbers from this movie and B) the less we mention Tim Burton’s remake the better. So I’ll shut up now. Done.

LITTLE OPENERS

Opening in limited release are Higher Ground opening in New York and L.A., Brighton Rock opening in select cities, Circumstance opening in select cities, Buzzkill opening in New York City, Redemption Road opening in select cities, Chasing Madoff opening in select cities, and Suing the Devil opening in select cities.

Here’s how the weekend is shaping up:

  1. The Help – $14.9m (-25.4%)
  2. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark – $12.1m NEW
  3. Rise of the Planet of the Apes – $9m (-44%)
  4. Colombiana – $8.8m NEW
  5. Our Idiot Brother – $7.6m NEW
  6. Spy Kids: All the Time in the World – $6.3m (-45.4%)
  7. Conan the Barbarian – $4.8m (-51.3%)
  8. The Smurfs – $4.3m (-44.7%)
  9. Fright Night – $4.1m (-46.6%)
  10. Final Destination 5 – $3.4m (-54.9%)

For fear of having to bring back that “s” word back into rotation – “slump” for those who missed it – I won’t mention how this weekend is looking to bring in $75.3m. I won’t mention how that’s a 23% drop from last weekend. I won’t mention how it’s looking like the lowest grossing weekend since February when The Roommate was #1. I won’t even tell you The Roommate was ever #1. You’ll just have to look that up for yourself. All I’ll say is it could be a lot worse. We could all be deathly terrified of these words I’m typing right now. Logophobia. What did I do without you, Google?

We’ll be back on Sunday to go over the weekend numbers.


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