Box Office Report: The Possession Wins Labor Day Weekend


The Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films and then check back on Monday for the final figures based on actual box office.

After a notoriously bad weekend at the box office, things picked up over the Labor Day weekend with two new movies opening in wide release and taking the top two spots and two of the summer’s biggest movies achieving impressive milestones.

Starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kyra Sedgwick, Ole Bornedal’s demonic horror-thriller The Possession (Lionsgate) scored big in 2,816 theaters, grossing an estimated $17.7 million over the three-day weekend and $21.3 million including the Labor Day Monday. That number makes The Possession the second-highest Labor Day opening behind Rob Zombie’s remake of Halloween, which brought in $30.5 million over Labor Day in 2007. The Possession also marks the third weekend at #1 for Lionsgate, which is having a much better year in 2012 than last year between the success of The Hunger Games, which has grossed over $400 million, and their late summer hits.

Second place went to John (The Road) Hilllcoat’s period crime-thriller Lawless (The Weinstein Company), starring Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy and Jessica Chastain, which brought in $13 million over the weekend in 2,888 theaters, averaging $4.5 thousand per venue. With the $2.1 million it grossed on Wednesday and Thursday, the movie has taken in $15.1 million in its first six days.

Before we get to the rest of the Top 10, Disney decided to reexpand their summer hit Marvel’s The Avengers into 1,705 theaters, which allowed it to gross another $2.4 million over the weekend to bring its domestic take to $620 million. That added to its international take for the weekend was enough to put it over the $1.5 billion mark worldwide. The star-studded movie, directed by Joss Whedon, had already established itself as the third-highest grossing movie of all time, both domestically and globally, helping to get the summer of 2012 into the history books.

We now return to the Top 10…

The ensemble action-thriller The Expendables 2 (Lionsgate) dropped down to third place with $11.2 million over the four-day weekend with a total gross of $68.6 million to date, while Universal’s The Bourne Legacy, starring Jeremy Renner, took fourth with $9.4 million and $98.4 million.

The animated family horror-comedy ParaNorman (Focus Features) added another $8.8 million in fifth place to bring its total to $40.3 million.

It was followed in sixth place by the family drama The Odd Life of Timothy Green (Disney) with $8.5 million over the extended weekend. It has grossed $38.4 million in three weeks.

Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises (Warner Bros.), the third chapter in his Batman trilogy, continues to hold strong, taking seventh place with another $7.9 million in its seventh weekend in theaters with a domestic total of $433 million. Like The Avengers, the conclusion of Nolan’s magnum opus also marked a substantial milestone, crossing the billion mark worldwide with $1.005 billion, joining only 12 other movies to gross that amount as well as surpassing the worldwide gross of The Dark Knight, which ended its run with $1.003 billion worldwide.

The right wing doc 2016 Obama’s America (Rocky Mountain Pictures) added another 656 theaters on Friday, taking eighth place with $7.1 million with an impressive $20.2 million total, putting it among the Top 10 docs of all time, just behind Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine ironically enough.

A very different political movie could be found in the Will Ferrell-Zach Galifianakis comedy The Campaign (Warner Bros.), which dropped to ninth place with $7 million and $74.6 million amassed from its month in theaters.

The Meryl Streep-Tommy Lee Jones dramedy Hope Springs (Sony) dropped to tenth place with $6 million over the holiday weekend with $53.4 million grossed to date.

The Top 10 grossed roughly $100 million over the four-day weekend, up 9% from last Labor Day weekend when DreamWorks’ The Help remained on top with $19.9 million, followed by the political thriller The Debt (also starring Jessica Chastain, who appears in this week’s #2 movie Lawless) and the found footage thriller Apollo 18.

Somewhere out there may be another dimension where The Oogieloves in the BIG Balloon Adventure (Freestyle Releasing) became the highest grossing film of all time, even besting James Cameron’s Avatar. Here in reality, the brain-child of Kenn Viselman, American distributor of the Teletubbies, took the dubious honor of becoming the worst opening for a wide release ever, bringing in less than $450 thousand in 2,160 theaters over the three-day weekend, roughly $207 per site. (You read that right. $207.) This was an even worse showing than that for the animated Delgo, which made $511 thousand in the same number of theaters in 2008. With Monday, The Oogieloves grossed $827 thousand in its first six days ending up well outside the Top 10.

Opening in limited release, the raunchy Sundance sex comedy For a Good Time, Call… (Focus Features), starring Lauren Miller and Ari Graynor, brought in $141 thousand of the three-day weekend in 23 theaters, roughly $6,130 per site.

Click here for the full box office results of the top 12 films.