DreamWorks/Disney’s decision to open the lengthy, serious THE HELP on a Wednesday in mid-August looked like a questionable strategy, but so far it’s paying off: Deadline reports that its opening day gross is headed for $5.5M, very solid for a mid-week debut. By way of comparison, Eat Pray Love, also based on a bestseller targeted to female audiences, but with the advantage of a Friday opening (not to mention Julia Roberts) opened with $8.5M, on its way to a $23M weekend. The Help will hoping that good word of mouth will propel it to around $20-25M by Sunday, and then a leggy run through August. With a spartan production budget of $25M, the picture is far cheaper than Eat Pray Love or Julie & Julia, another August success, and those two got to $80M and $94M, respectively. While Help figures to be a tough sell overseas, it may not need much of an international contribution to reach profit.
Stay with SHOWBUZZDAILY for all the latest boxoffice numbers and analysis, starting tomorrow with Mitch Metcalf’s weekend predictions.