Box Office Final (9.10.2012)


Apathy ruled the weekend as box office attendance plummeted to estimated lows not seen since the same weekend in September 2008, when Bangkok Dangerous opened at #1 with a dismal $7.8 million start.  Retaining the top spot was Lionsgate’s The Possession which gave the studio its 4th consecutive week at #1, following a corollary 2-week run at the top for The Expendables 2.  Unlike four years ago, where Bangkok was the only major opening, Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana tried to bring about some interest in The Words and Superman-to-be Henry Cavill and Bruce Willis anchored Summit’s The Cold Light Of Day.  Critics were not shown Cold Light ahead of time and Summit bailed on the project with next to no actual promotion or marketing on the film.  While Summit looked the other way on their busted project, The Words was another kind of tremendous disappointment for CBS Films.

Check out the breakdown after the cut! Note: These figures are Friday-Sunday estimates with totals actualized on Monday afternoon.

The Possession was the most attended film by a disinterested lot of moviegoers, sliding 46% for a 10-day total of $33.3 million.  The film banked an estimated $9.5 million and Lionsgate are all smiles as the film is profitable every time it is exhibited, with a production budget of $14 million exceeded in last weekend’s opening. 

With most people thinking The Words would win the weekend, it was Lawless finishing in second place with an estimated $6.0 million second weekend, adding theaters but still declining 40%.  John Hillcoat’s blood-soaked crime drama may have held off The Words, but its tepid $1,913 per screen average is the lowest for a second place film in years.  Lawless has banked $23.5 million in its first 12 days.

Bradley Cooper may have two more prestige-style pictures potentially arriving before the end of the year, but for now The Words was another question mark on Cooper’s bankability as a name-above-the-title acting draw.  A lot of promotional effort was made by CBS Films to play on the mysterious elements of the story, as well as make people curious as to what those Words happened to be.  People seemingly yawned and clearly with the film quite poor, the word-of-mouth was damning.  The positive in all of this is that the film only cost $6 million to make and CBS Films acquired it for $2 million.  With a profit line of $8 million, The Words will be a success, but nothing near what people were anticipating.

With people staying away this weekend, most Top 10 films plummeted between 40-49% and with the addition of The Words, the Top 10 is almost identical to a week ago.  The Campaign held best, with a decline of 38.2% and Warner Bros. citing interest in the Republican and Democratic National Conventions as buoying the film for this long and this well.  While unlikely to reach $100 million domestically, the film has banked $79.5 million in North America thus far. 

2016: Obama’s America continued to add theaters and continued to shed audiences, playing on more than 2,000 sites and losing more than 41% over the weekend.  The anti-Obama documentary does however close in as the biggest grossing documentary of 2012 ($26.1 million), roughly $2.5 million behind DisneyNature’s Chimpanzee, which earned $28.97 million in its April/May theatrical run.  Rocky Mountain Pictures will continue to push the film significantly, as they can now champion the film as the second biggest-grossing political documentary of all time.  While it will not come anywhere close to the $119.2 million earned by Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 in 2004, the film did surpass the last of Moore’s best grossing releases.

Outside The Top 10…

The aforementioned The Cold Light Of Day earned a tepid $1.8 million at 1,511 locations.  I checked and surprisingly there is not a home video release date yet.  On its heels was the IMAX re-released Raiders Of The Lost Ark, which got a look at 267 theaters and earned a strong $6,461 per screen average and $1.73 million.  When actual ticket sales come in, it is expected Raiders may overtake Cold Light for 13th place.

Oscilloscope continued to smile at the success found by their documentary Samsara, which drew a robust per screen average of $8,000.  The experimental documentary from the folks behind Baraka and Chronos, Samsara has $488k already, expanding to just 25 theaters this weekend.

Lizzy Caplan, Kirsten Dunst, and Isla Fisher – the women of “Bachelorette” (RADiUS-TWC)

And notably, Bachelorette got a shot on the big screen – the first VOD/theatrical release from The Weinstein Company’s new VOD offshoot, RADiUS.  The biggest grossing VOD release to date, Bachelorette reportedly earned more than $4 million before its theatrical rollout.  Kirsten Dunst heads a female-centric hybrid of The Hangover and Bridemaids, although the film’s origins predate the Oscar-nominated Kristen Wiig-led comedy from last year.  With a decent $191k haul from 47 sites, the film may see an expanded rollout in the weeks to come.

The Bourne Legacy finally danced past $100 million in domestic box office, while dystopian mindbender Branded saw no interest from anyone, grossing $251k at 307 locations.  And…what of those lovable Oogieloves you ask?  Kenn Viselman Productions and Romar Entertainment did not bother tracking or reporting its ticket sales this weekend, after slashing the film from 2,160 screens to reportedly between 300-500 sites.  Unfortunately for Viselman, you really cannot hide the fact that Oogieloves actually happened.

Here are the weekend’s 10 most attended films (with estimated dollar amounts in millions):

$9.5 $33.3 -46.4 Lionsgate
LAWLESS $6.0 $23.5 -40.0 Weinstein Co.
$5.0 $5.0 NEW CBS Films
$4.8 $75.4 -47.4 Lionsgate
BOURNE LEGACY $4.0 $103.7 -44.7 Universal
PARANORMAN $3.8 $45.1 -41.7 Focus
$3.7 $43.0 -41.8 Buena Vista
CAMPAIGN $3.5 $79.4 -38.2 Warner Bros.
$3.3 $437.8 -46.3 Warner Bros.
$3.28 $26.1 -41.5 Rocky Mountain
Previous articleGet a sneak peek of Kate Hudson on Glee!
Next articleTIFF: Hyde Park on Hudson (**)
My love of film began at the age of 7 when my parents not only gave me a television, but HBO to boot. My first theatrical experience was "E.T." My first movie cry came with "Old Yeller". "The Usual Suspects" made me decide to make movies and film writing a priority in life, even knowing the twist beforehand. My passion for film, music, and pop culture in general can be isolated to my youth. My love for film took root in high school. Above all else, movies and art, in any form, exist to entertain and I remain much more interested in how art affects others, more than with myself. But I love the conversation and to have a chance to share my thoughts and be a part of the community here is a unique and enriching experience.