September 1, 2012



OPENINGS:  THE POSSESSION (Lionsgate) will be a convincing winner over the holiday weekend, based on a Friday that more than doubled the gross of the #2 movie.  Its $6.1M was also 2/3 better than last year’s Labor Day Friday #1, The Help (which was in its 4th week of release at that point).  Possession could end up with a nice (considering its budget) $35-40M by the end of its run.  LAWLESS (Weinstein Company) edged out last year’s mature-action opening The Debt, $2.8M-$2.6M, but was well below the $3.8M earned by The American in 2010.  It could get to $30-35M, on a cost much higher than Possession‘s.  As Mitch Metcalf noted this morningOOGIELOVE IN THE BIG BALLOON ADVENTURE (Visselman) is already a boxoffice disaster of historic proportions, with a Friday average of an incredible $45 per theatre.

HOLDOVERS:  With the exception of last weekend’s disasters, most holdovers maintained their numbers pretty well, thanks to the lack of significant new competition.  THE EXPENDABLES 2 (Lionsgate) headed the list with what should be around a $11M 4-day weekend, on its way to an ultimate US total of $85M or so.  THE BOURNE LEGACY (Universal) should have a $9M weekend, headed for around $110M in the US.  Both these pictures will need substantial overseas success to see much profit.  PARANORMAN (Focus/Universal) is also holding well and should top $50M, still well below Coraline‘s $75M.  The small-scale ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN (Disney) and HOPE SPRINGS (Sony) look like modest successes with likely totals of $50M and $60M respectively.  THE DARK KNIGHT RISES (Warners) is still in the weekend Top 10, but Disney’s attempts to stir up renewed excitement for the summer’s earlier hits THE AVENGERS and BRAVE with greatly expanded theatre counts didn’t do much.

The news was less good for last weekend’s openings.  2016:  OBAMA’S AMERICA (Rocky Mountain) added 650 theatres and still fell 28% from last Friday, unable to push beyond its hardcore conservative audience.  HIT & RUN (Open Road) and PREMIUM RUSH (Sony), neither of which added theatres, fell 48% and 54% respectively.

LIMITED RELEASE:  The only notable opening was the extremely funny FOR A GOOD TIME, CALL.. (Focus/Universal), which seemed to arrive with very little enthusiasm on the part of its studio and will struggle to get to a $10K 4-day average in its 23 theatres.

NEXT WEEKEND:  The drought continues, as the only wide openings are THE WORDS (CBS), which got a mixed response at Sundance, and THE COLD LIGHT OF DAY (Lionsgate/Summit), an action movie curiosity because it stars the new Superman, Henry Cavil (and features Bruce Willis in a supporting role).  However, don’t go anywhere:  starting Thursay, SHOWBUZZDAILY will be bringing you coverage from the Toronto Film Festival, where many of the fall’s biggest movies will be making their presence known.

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."