The two top choices for moviegoers this Labor Day weekend in the US were ‘The Debt’ and ‘The Help’ both starring new Hollywood star Jessica Chastain. This phenomenon has led industry exec to ponder on whether they’re witnessing a ‘Jessica Chastain effect'.

Jack Foley, president of domestic distribution for Focus Features, who released “The Debt” told the LA Times “So many people have seen Jessica's performance in 'The Help,' that I think it helped us that she was a familiar face that some people were happy to see again… We put our trailer up on 'The Help' -- because we knew that for adult moviegoers going to the movie theater, it was going to be, 'Now we've seen 'The Help,' what can we see this weekend?'"



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Both films are aimed at an adult audience but are very different. Also Chastain’s characters are polar opposite in each.

In “The Help” Chastain plays a giddy blonde with a lack of cooking skills who is a social outcast with the women of the Mississippi Junior League. However in “The Debt” she plays a strong willed operative with the aim of capturing a Nazi war criminal.

Chastain is starring in a massive amount of movies this season including the Brad Pitt art house movie “The Tree of Life”, “Take Shelter”, “Texas Killing Fields”, “The Wettest Country in the World”. Another two Chastain movies, "Coriolanus" and "Wilde Salome", are making the rounds at festivals.

Here’s a rundown of the top movies at the box office this week –

1. The Help ($19 million)
2. The Debt ($12.5 million)
3. Apollo 18 ($10.7 million)
4. Shark Night 3D ($10.3 million)
5. Rise of the Planet of the Apes ($10.2 million)
6. Colombiana ($9.4 million)
7. Our Idiot Brother ($7 million)
8. Spy Kids: All The Time In The World ($6.6 million)
9. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark ($6.1 million)
10. The Smurfs ($5.6 million)

Trailer for “The Help”:

Trailer for “The Debt”: