'The Help' officially a word-of-mouth hit

Posted: August 23, 2011

"THE HELP" is now the nation's most popular movie, and officially a word-of-mouth hit.

The film, which stars Viola Davis, crushed "Conan The Barbarian" and "Fright Night" and retained 80 percent of its audience to claim the top spot for the first time, after opening two weeks ago in the second spot.

It's the first movie to climb from two to one in successive weeks since "True Grit" in January, and before that, since "The Blind Side," said Box Office Mojo.

Note that the summer's other wide-release word-of-mouth phenomenon, "Bridesmaids," also held 80 percent of its audience week to week.

You look at these numbers, and you have to wonder if Hollywood's assumption that young males are its most important go-to demo is correct. "The Help," "The Blind Side," "Bridesmaids," even "True Grit" (essentially about a teenage girl) - the breakout, long-tail hits of the past two years seem to ride on the shoulders of women, including many older women.


Read Gary Thompson's blog at www.philly.com/KeepItReel.

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