Hurricane Irene Brings Second-Worst Box Office Weekend of 2011

Your reporter, who attempted to see Our Idiot Brother in the midst of a hurricane, can attest: This past weekend's storms led to movie-theater closures. The closures and weather are being blamed for the slow ticket sales over the past three days:

This weekend's numbers bounced around, especially after Rentrak, the box office reporting service, sent out the following advisory: "We wanted to make you aware that a possible 1,000 theatres could be affected by the weather on the East Coast. We've been hearing about closures at many theatres and wanted to advise you that both Saturday and Sunday grosses will be affected." This is turning into the worst moviegoing weekend of 2011, in a race with only Super Bowl weekend, because of the expected miniscule $80M expected for total North American box office grosses. Theater chains like AMC, Regal, and Clearview Cinemas were closing, location counts were dropping, and major releases were finding cover.

The Help stayed in the top spot as it enters its third week. As for the new releases: Colombiana was No. 2 with $10.3 million, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark was No. 3 with $8.7 million, and, most dismally, Our Idiot Brother came in fifth place with $6.6 million.

Read the full analysis at Deadline and get most up-to-date numbers at Box Office Mojo.

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Spencer Kornhaber is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he covers pop culture and music. He was previously an editor at Patch.com and a staff writer at OC Weekly. He has written for Spin, The AV Club, and RollingStone.com.

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