Emma Stone, The Help

DreamWorks

Thor was the movie summer's No. 1 superhero. The guys from The Hangover sequel were the No. 1 jokers. And Harry Potter was the No. 1 everything

But not even the biggest boys of summer had what Emma Stone had.

Stone's The Help closed out Hollywood's summer with its third-straight No. 1 finish.

The Labor Day weekend victory gives Stone bragging rights, as The Help is the only Summer 2011 film to nab the top spot three times. (For what it's worth, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, the summer's and the year's biggest money-maker, only spent one weekend at No. 1.)

The third time was definitely the charm for The Help. The feel-good take on the Civil Rights struggle saw ticket sales barely dip from last weekend, and pushed its overall domestic total past $120 million.

To make it four straight wins, The Help will need help, or, more likely, a miracle. The Matt Damon-led Contagion will be the film to beat next weekend.

Elsewhere, a batch of new releases, from Helen Mirren's The Debt, to the Blair Witch-esque Apollo 18, to the answer to an American Idol trivia question, Shark Night 3D (i.e., "Can you name a Katharine McPhee movie?"), did little. 

Another new movie, A Good Old Fashioned Orgy, starring Jason Sudeikis, did even littler, grossing only about $150,000 in its limited-released debut.

Among the holdovers, Rise of the Planet of the Apes kept on keeping on, and broke $160 million domestically, while The Smurfs kept on confounding doubters and haters, and upped its worldwide total to nearly $428 million and counting.   

A pair of remakes and/or relaunches, Conan the Barbarian and Fright Night, both made quick exits from the Top 10. Each lasted but two weekends. Neither grossed as much as $20 million domestically.

Conan alone distinguished itself as one of the late-breaking bombs of summer. The $90 million movie so far as only made $41 million worldwide, per Box Office Mojo.

Here's a complete look at how the holiday weekend shaped up—with three-day estimates as compiled by Exhibitor Relations, and four-day estimates as reported by Box Office Mojo:

  1. The Help, $14.2 million Friday-Sunday; $19 million Friday-Monday
  2. The Debt, $9.7 million Friday-Sunday; $12.6 million Friday-Monday
  3. Apollo 18, $8.7 million Friday-Sunday; $10.7 million Friday-Monday
  4. Shark Night 3D, $8.6 million Friday-Sunday; $10.3 million Friday-Monday
  5. Rise of the Planet of the Apes, $7.8 million Friday-Sunday; $10.25 million Friday-Monday
  6. Colombiana, $7.4 million Friday-Sunday; $9.4 million Friday-Monday
  7. Our Idiot Brother, $5.2 million Friday-Sunday; $7 million Friday-Monday
  8. Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, $4.9 million Friday-Sunday; $6.1 million Friday-Monday
  9. Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D, $4.6 million Friday-Sunday; $6.6 million Friday-Monday
  10. The Smurfs, $4 million Friday-Sunday; $5.6 million Friday-Monday

(Originally published Sept. 4, 2011, at 11:03 a.m. PT)

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