Box Office Report: 'The Help' Grosses Better Than Expected $4.3 Million on Thursday

Dale Robinette/DreamWorks

The DreamWorks and Participant Media movie -- which is benefiting from a rare A+ CinemaScore -- now has a two-day total of $9.9 million.

Tate Taylor's female-fueled The Help continued to serve up a strong box office performance Thursday, grossing $4.3 million for a two-day total of $9.9 million.

Thursday is often a down day at the box office, but The Help did better than expected.

It's now likely that The Help--benefiting from an A+ CinemaScore and great word of mouth--will post a five-day debut in the high $20 million range. However, if the pic is front-loaded, the number could be lower. Disney is being more cautious, putting its estimate in the mid $20 million range.

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Fans of Kathryn Stockett's novel are turning out in force to se the DreamWorks and Participant Media film, along with moviegoers simply curious about the film's storyline and large female cast, led by Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Bryce Dallas Howard. Disney is distributing.

The Help is only the second movie of the year to receive an A+ CinemaSocre after TriStar/Film District's Soul Surfer. Films earning the top score enjoy strong multiples, such as Soul Surfer, which opened to $10.6 million and grossed $43.9 million domestically. Disney's Tangled and the Weinstein Co.'s Oscar winner The King's Speech were the only 2010 releases to receive an A+ CinemaScore. Past winners of the top grade include The Blind Side and Titanic (the top grossing film of all time).

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The Help is also benefiting from appealing to female moviegoers otherwise turned off by Hollywood's big summer blockbusters, with women making up more than 80 percent of Wednesday's audience. Roughly 78 percent were over the age of 25.

FILM REVIEW: 'The Help'

Set in the early 1960s in Jackson, Miss., The Help explores the complicated relationships between white women and their maids, and what happens when a young white journalist exposes how the maids are treated.

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DreamWorks and Participant Media co-financed the $25 million the movie, which was produced by Chris Columbus and Mike Barnathan's 1492 Pictures. The film is already drawing awards buzz for its performances. 

The Help also stars Jessica Chastain, Ahna O'Reilly, Allison Janney and Sissy Spacek.

Tate, a childhood friend of Stockett's, makes his feature directorial debut with The Help.

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