The Help Movie Comes Out On Top

Labor Day weekend finished with The Help movie coming out on top for the third-straight week as No. 1 in box offices across America.

The acclaimed drama about Southern black maids speaking out during the civil-rights movement took in $19 million over the long holiday weekend. That raised the film’s domestic total to $123.4 million. “The Help” is also rolling out overseas, pulling in $1.7 million in its first international market, Australia.

A DreamWorks Pictures release distributed by Disney, “The Help” has been a triumph amid a rush of late-summer duds that ended Hollywood’s busiest season.

“The Help is literally in a league of its own at the end of a summer movie season where the competition was virtually non-existent,” said Paul Dergarabedian, a box office analyst. “It’s a really good movie that happened to land in the perfect spot at the perfect time. They are really just reaping the benefit of the worst dog days of August that we have seen in years.”

Best among the newcomers was Focus Features’ Holocaust-revenge thriller “The Debt” at No. 2 with $12.6 million from Friday to Monday. The film stars Helen Mirren and features “The Help” co-star Jessica Chastain.

The Weinstein Co. horror tale “Apollo 18” opened at No. 3 with $10.7 million.

Another fright flick, Relativity Media’s “Shark Night 3D,” debuted at No. 4 with $10.3 million. A handful of other movies opened in narrower release well outside the weekend’s top 10, including Visio Entertainment’s golf drama “Seven Days in Utopia,” which stars Robert Duvall and Lucas Black and pulled in a modest $1.6 million.