Box Office: Hurricane Irene has earnings down across the board

the-help-emma-stone.jpgThe millions of people being affected by Hurricane Irene this weekend is also having an effect on the weekend box office. "The Help" stayed on top of a meager Friday night (Aug. 26), despite a trio of new releases hitting theaters.

The civil rights drama starring Viola Davis and Emma Stone took in $4.4 million Friday night, which puts it on pace for a $15.5 million weekend its third week in release. Zoe Saldana's action movie "Columbiana" was second at $3.8 million, followed closely by the Katie Holmes horror flick "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" at $3.6 million.

Compared to last Friday, each of the top three movies is down by at least $1 million in earnings. And each is down several million compared to the box office two Fridays ago.

Third new release "Our Idiot Brother" was not fourth, but fifth, with a low $2.4 million. It was narrowly beaten out by "The Rise of the Planet of the Apes" for fourth place. "Apes" took in $2.6 million.

We'll have the full Top 10 box office when the numbers are available.

Photo/Video credit: DreamWorks Pictures