‘Hurricane Irene’ batters US box office

'The Help' stays at Number One for 'worst weekend of the year'

The North American box office has suffered a poor weekend of sales, with many cinemas closing as a result of Hurricane Irene.

With unconfirmed figures, the weekend sales could be the worst of the year. At present, the overall figures are currently tying with Super Bowl weekend, a notoriously slow time for movies.

Speaking to Deadline.com, a Hollywood executive said:

Business is in the crapper right now. Any way you slice it, business is getting creamed this weekend.

One ray of sunshine was given by The Help. The southern drama, starring Emma Stone, held on to the top spot with a weekend total of $14.3m (£8.7m). Its overall domestic gross should hit $100m by early this week.

Elsewhere in the charts, newcomers in the form of action flick Columbiana, comedy My Idiot Brother and horror Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark fared poorly – even accounting for Hurricane Irene‘s possible 20% drop off.

Of the three new starters, Columbiana, produced by Luc Besson and starring Avatar‘s Zoe Saldana, opened best with $10.3m (£6.2m).

Next week sees the release of Apollo 18, a horror movie dubbed ‘Blair Witch in Space’.

For more stats and figures on the latest from across the pond, visit Box Office Mojo.