As hurricane looms and complicates predictions, pic wins the day

Again, and in spite of the looming threat of Hurricane Irene, Disney’s domestic drama “The Help” won Friday night with $4.4 million.

Down only 24% from last week, the holdover is expected to keep the top spot it won in its second frame. Pic has cumed more than $85 million domestically, and is showing off its legs against newer competitors.

However, Irene-induced theater closures on the East Coast don’t kick in until today, which will keep a sizable aud from hitting plexes and complicates predictions for the frame’s exact outcome. Because of the shutterings, a pic may only have to gross as little as $10 million-$11 million to win the weekend.

Sony revenge thriller “Colombiana” took second last night with $3.75 million, followed by FilmDistrict’s “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” with about $3.6 million. Both “Colombiana” and Guillermo del Toro’s much delayed horror remake “Dark” should finish close to $10 million if Irene doesn’t wreak too much havoc on biz.

Fourth went to a familiar face in Fox’s “The Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” which grossed $2.585 million last night. Down 44%, “Apes” has cumed $142 million Stateside thus far.

The last new entry this weekend, Weinstein Co.’s “Our Idiot Brother,” rounded out the top five with roughly $2.4 million. Acquired at Sundance for a reported $6 million, “Brother” should do about that well through Sunday.

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