The end of August and beginning of September are notoriously slow weekends at the Box Office with few new releases that are enticing enough to get people to the cinema. However, the first full weekend in September 2012 can go down as one of the lowest grossing weekends in the last decade. The highest grossing movie of the weekend didn’t even crack $10 million and only one of two new wide releases made it into the top ten.
Luckily the limited release market did all right with new releases Keep the Lights On, Hello I Must be Going, and Detropia each earning more than $10,000 per screen. Other than that, there was a whole lot of disappointment this weekend.
Box Office Estimates
September 7-9, 2012
1) The Possession (2nd Weekend)
WEEKEND: $9.5 million | TOTAL: $33.35 million
The low-budget horror movie formula seems to continue to be Box Office gold for movie studios. The Possession was made for a paltry $14 million, but thanks to some clever marketing, a Fall release, and the built in fan base of the horror genre it has earned over double its budget in the U.S. alone.
2) Lawless (2nd Weekend)
WEEKEND: $6 million | TOTAL: $23.5 million
This is the highest grossing film that John Hillcoat has ever directed and it’s also his first film to be distributed by the Weinstein Company. I think there is something to that.
3) The Words (Opening)
WEEKEND: $5 million | TOTAL: $5 million
CBS Films has been responsible for movies like Extraordinary Measures, Beastly, The Back-Up Plan, and now The Words – all dramas that I have never been particularly interested in. This may change as I see they have Terence Malick’s To the Wonder and Martin McDonough’s Seven Psychopaths on their upcoming release schedule, but up until now their movies have felt very safe.
4) The Expendables 2 (4th Weekend)
WEEKEND: $4.75 million | TOTAL: $75.4 million
With a drop of 47.4% in its 4th weekend, The Expendables 2 is this week’s biggest loser. This ensemble action film had a budget of $100 million that it has already earned back in its overseas gross. It’s not too far behind its predecessor’s $103 million domestic take, but it probably won’t quite catch it.
5) The Bourne Legacy (5th Weekend)
WEEKEND: $4 million | TOTAL: $103.7 million
With this weekend’s gross, The Bourne Legacy becomes the 18th film of 2012 to earn more than $100 million. Last year there were 30 films that crossed that mark, indicating that 2012 might be a lighter year overall. This will likely end its run as the lowest-grossing Bourne movie, but don’t expect the franchise to be over just yet.
6) ParaNorman (4th Weekend)
WEEKEND: $3.83 million | TOTAL: $45.1 million
As I expected, ParaNorman has caught up to and passed The Odd Life of Timothy Green. Animated movies, especially the type released by Laika Studios, appeal to adults more than shmaltzy Disney fare. If ParaNorman‘s reviews were a bit better, I would consider it the Oscar frontrunner, but Brave still has the Box Office edge (a factor that matters in the Animated category more than others).
7) The Odd Life of Timothy Green (4th Weekend)
WEEKEND: $3.65 million | TOTAL: $43 million
This might be the first Joel Edgerton movie that I have not even a fleeting interest in seeing. These types of movies might be inevitable when my son gets older, though. I will try to avoid them as long as possible.
8) The Campaign (5th Weekend)
WEEKEND: $3.53 million | TOTAL: $79.47 million
I wonder if the recent DNC or RNC made anybody more interested in seeing this movie. If the marketers would have been smart, they would have been running lots of ads during the convention coverage. That way when people were getting fed up with real politics they could escape to Will Ferrell and Zach Galifinakis’ version.
9) The Dark Knight Rises (8th Weekend)
WEEKEND: $3.29 million | TOTAL: $437.8 million
With this weekend, The Dark Knight Rises has become the 10th highest grossing movie of all-time worldwide. It looks like it should have no problem moving up to the number 7 spot before its run is complete. It should similarly become the 7th highest grossing movie in the United States within a few weeks. It still has to settle for being the 2nd highest grossing movie of 2012, though.
10) 2016 Obama’s America (9th Weekend)
WEEKEND: $3.28 million | TOTAL: $26.1 million
It’s been a good year for documentaries with three of this year’s releases being in the top ten highest grossing documentaries of all-time (the other two are Katy Perry: Part of Me and Chimpanzee). This anti-Obama doc has become the 6th highest grossing doc of all-time and it should pass Chimpanzee within a week or two.
Box Office estimates are courtesy of Box Office Mojo. Look for Finding Nemo 3D to put a temporary jolt into the Box Office next weekend. Sad that it takes a 3D re-release of a decade old film to pull in a decent take.