Hurricane Irene is already taking a direct hit on the domestic box office, which is facing the second worst weekend of the year after Super Bowl in terms of ticket sales.
By some estimates, Hollywood could forfeit as much as $30 million in box office revenues as a result of the storm, which is sparking theater closures all along the East Coast.
DreamWorks and Participant Media’s The Help continued to claim the No. 1 position on Friday, but was expected to earn only $3.8 million to $4.3 million for the day, putting it on course for a weekend total of $12 million to $13 million -- short of its expected $15 million.
Coming in No. 2 on Friday was the Luc Besson-produced action pic Colombiana, starring Zoe Saldana. Distributed by TriStar, the action movie was on course to gross $3.5 million to $4 million on Friday for a weekend total of perhaps $11 million.
Horror pic Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, produced by Guillermo Del Toro, looked to come in No. 3 on Friday with roughly $3 million, followed by holdover Rise of the Planet of the Apes and new entry Our Idiot Brother at roughly $2.5 million each.
The Weinstein Co. is distributing Idiot Brother, the latest R-rated comedy to hit the box office and starring Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel and Emily Mortimer.