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'The Help' reigns again over storm-soaked weekend 


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LOS ANGELES — “The Help” remained Hollywood’s top draw with $14.3 million on a slow late-summer weekend whose business was even more sluggish as many East Coast theaters closed to ride out the storm there.
Irene was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm Sunday, but the weekend already was a lost cause for many theaters in its path. Studio executives estimate that about 1,000 theaters shut down for at least part of the weekend and that business may have been off 15 to 20 percent because of the storm.
“It was a wild weekend,” said Dave Hollis, head of distribution at Disney, which released DreamWorks Pictures’ “The Help.” ‘’All things considered, to kind of come out with business down only 15 to 20 percent is something to be pretty thankful for.”
“The Help” has been the No. 1 film for two-straight weekends. The acclaimed adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s novel about black Southern maids sharing stories about white employers amid the civil-rights movement raised its domestic total to $96.6 million and should cross the $100 million mark Tuesday.


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