September 1, 2012



The traditionally dreary Labor Day Weekend boxoffice is underway, and preliminary numbers at Deadline have THE POSSESSION (Lionsgate) in the lead, with a $5.5M Friday and probably around $18M for the 4-day holiday weekend.  Possession, which is sort of The Exorcist plus Hasidim, has the advantage over last year’s holiday, when Apollo 18 and Shark Night had to split the low-budget horror movie crowd. LAWLESS (Weinstein Company) is in 2d place with a $2.8M Friday and probably $13-14M over the 4-day weekend (plus $2M for its Wed-Thurs early opening days).  That would put it slightly ahead of last year’s The Debt‘s $12.9M over the holiday, and a bit behind The American‘s $16.7M 2 years ago, making it a very stable weekend for that particular adult-action subgenre.  The only other opening was the genuinely pathetic OOGIELOVES IN THE BIG BALLOON ADVENTURE (Visselman), which may not even make $1M in over 2000 theatres over the 4-day weekend.  That could earn it a place as one of the worst per-theatre openings in American cinema history.

Despite a 70% increase in theatre count and millions in free publicity all week, 2016:  OBAMA’S AMERICA (Rocky Mountain) is quickly running out of right-wing obsessives, with a Friday that was 30% behind last week’s.  Even with its very wide expansion, it’s on track to make less on this 4-day weekend than it did last week in 3 days.  THE EXPENDABLES 2 (Lionsgate) leads the holdovers and seems to be on the road to $85-90M total boxoffice, 10-15% below its predecessor.  THE BOURNE LEGACY (Universal) is slowing its decline in the absence of any strong new competition, and could get to $110M total.  PARANORMAN (Focus/Universal)HOPE SPRINGS (Sony) and THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN (Disney) all had $1-1.5M Fridays and should all reach $50-60M by the time they’re done.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."