‘The Possession’ Remains #1; ‘The Words’ Debuts Softly

on September 10, 2012 by Daniel Garris

The typically slow post-Labor Day weekend box office was especially sluggish this year, while moviegoers in general turned their attention towards the start of the NFL season. Leading the way was Lionsgate's The Possession with $9.32 million. The PG-13 horror film fell 47 percent from last weekend's three-day debut, which represented a very respectable second weekend hold for a horror film, especially during the post-Labor Day frame. The Possession has led the box office for 10 consecutive days and has now grossed $33.17 million to date, placing the film 3 percent ahead of the $32.11 million ten-day take of 2010's The Last Exorcism. This coming Friday The Possession and the rest of the marketplace will take a backseat to the one-two punch of Disney's Finding Nemo 3D and Sony's Resident Evil: Retribution.

Lawless held up well this weekend to remain in second place with $6.01 million. The Weinstein Company acquisition starring Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy fell a solid 40 percent from last weekend's three-day opening weekend. The twelve-day take for Lawless stands at $23.53 million. Compared to past Wednesday before Labor-Day openers, Lawless is currently running 8 percent stronger than the $21.87 million 12-day performance of last year's The Debt and 16 percent softer than the $28.11 million 12-day gross of 2010's The American.

The Words opened below already modest expectations to finish in fourth with just $4.75 million (placing it behind the $4.95 million third place take of Lionsate's The Expendables 2). The CBS Films acquisition starring Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana was only able to generate a per-location average of $1,696 from 2,801 locations. On the heels of last month's disappointing Hit and Run, Cooper has been part of two consecutive lackluster performers, though it should be noted that both films were inexpensive by Hollywood standards. Cooper will hope to turn things around in November with the release of Silver Linings Playbook. The Words received a so-so B rating on CinemaScore.

The results were even worse for Lionsgate's The Cold Light of Day, which debuted with $1.83 million. The poor performance came as no surprise, as the action thriller was essentially thrown into wide release at the very last minute. The Cold Light of Day received a dreadful D+ rating on CinemaScore, which helps explain why little confidence was shown in the film. Playing in 1,511 locations this weekend, The Cold Light of Day averaged a light $1,212 per location.

Opening in the same neighborhood was Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark: The IMAX Experience. The IMAX re-issue of the classic 1981 film from Paramount grossed $1.67 million from 267 IMAX locations. That gave the film a per-location average of $6,269 for the frame. Raiders of the Lost Ark: The IMAX Experience didn't light the box office on fire by IMAX standards this weekend, but it did have a very solid performance when considering there was only very modest pre-release awareness of the re-release. The lifetime unadjusted domestic gross for Raiders of the Lost Ark now stands at $246.71 million.

In other box office news, Universal's The Bourne Legacy topped the $100 million mark this weekend. The fourth installment of the action thriller franchise reached the $100 million milestone on Friday, its 29th day of release. The Bourne Legacy placed in sixth for the weekend with $3.97 million and has grossed $103.63 million through 31 days.

Tags: The Bourne Legacy, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark: The IMAX Experience, The Cold Light of Day, The Words, Lawless, The Possession

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