By Todd Allen

August was a pretty weak month at the Box Office.  September isn’t starting out any better.  How bad was it?  For this weekend, the box office was the worst since 2008.  As good as the early summer was, only two films debuting after Dark Knight Rises: the latest Ice Age and Bourne Legacy.  Which is also to say, this week’s new release were not hotly received.  At all.

Here’s the top 10 films per Box Office Mojo:

1 The Possession $9,500,000
2 Lawless $6,002,000
3 The Words $5,000,000
4 The Expendables 2 $4,750,000
5 The Bourne Legacy $4,000,000
6 ParaNorman $3,830,000
7 The Odd Life of Timothy Green $3,650,000
8 The Campaign $3,530,000
9 The Dark Knight Rises $3,285,000
10 2016 Obama’s America $3,281,000

The Possession and Lawless keep their positions from last week, albeit with less revenue.  The third slot is the lackluster debut of The Words, which managed a meager $1,785 per screen.  That’s actually a borderline good average for this slow week, but absolutely not what you want for opening week.  That’s a lot better than The Cold Light of Day’s opening average of $1,191 per screen.  Granted, it was barely a wide release with 1,511 screen, but $1.8M is a bit less than you expect from a Bruce Willis film.

The Dark Knight Rises is still hanging around the top 10 at #9 with the second highest percentage drop of the top 10 this week.  Then again, the $1,653 per screen average was pretty good in the current context.  This is week 8 for the billion dollar film.

The Avengers picked up another $795K, but the $658 per screen average suggests that extremely long run is just about over.

The Amazing Spider-Man, while still in a few theaters, did not show up on the weekend estimates.  It should be own tomorrow’s actual numbers, but that means it’s going to be up to the overseas markets to see if Spidey makes it all the way to $750M global.  Really, it’s the foreign market’s that drove Sony to greenlight the sequel.  We’ll see how high the approved budget is, though.

Will next week be a more interesting week at the box office?  Well, it does get a little geekier, which seemed to be a theme of the early summer business success.  Finding Nemo (3D) is the widest release of the week with 2,900 screens.  Will a retread beat out The Possession?  Quite possibly, especially with the extra price tag for 3D movies.  The other wide release is Resident Evil: Retribution with 2,850 screens.  A possible winner?  Compared to The Words, it probably will be.

Two weeks until we find out how the general public reacts to a new Judge Dredd movie.


  1. Most movies are mediocre and aren’t worth a $30-$40 night out, $50-$60 in some cases. Even if you tack on 3D. In this economy too?.The secret of the medium used to be a movie was affordable art, a relatively cheap thing to do, no longer the case…

    I’m happy to wait till Avengers or Spiderman come to my local library or cable to catch it then. Especially when the Disney CEO is getting the credit and the payoff, not Jack Kirby or Steve Ditko.

    .Judge Dredd is going to tank as it should… Curse of the Stallone.

  2. I feel like there are some words missing from this sentence:

    “As good as the early summer was, only two films debuting after Dark Knight Rises: the latest Ice Age and Bourne Legacy.”

  3. well with the movies out this week this a great time to watch a double feature, The Ooogie Loves then Branded: I did that Saturday evening and it was the most glorious cinematic experience in my my life and the projectionist hated my guts for it(they didn’t thread oogieloves and he was about to go home). This is the next Rock Horror Picture show. Alone both movie are terribly good, but together they achieve something no drugs can replicate. please see both of these movies back-to-back and just roll with it.

  4. Cheaper to buy a film you love on disc, or netflix or just try a couple of new ones at home. I saw BRANDED, which I see did’nt even chart…and it was not good. Seems films just arent written as well as they could be…a lot of stuff being dumped and over produced.

    Feels to me like comics these days…you have to hunt for the good ones.

  5. Oogiloves tripled their screen average this week… although there is no data for the weekend on Box Office Mojo.

    They might make One!Million!Dollars! this week!
    (Still six showings in New York City…)

    Raiders of the Lost Ark is in IMAX? #14! (#5 by screen) 267 screens. No advertising? It could have been #1 with the right ad campaign! Wouldn’t that have been a finger to the eye of Hollywood! A movie 25 years old beating the new kids!

    Since moving to New York City, I am more inclined to attend a retrospective at Film Forum or a midnight screening at the IFC Center or Landmark Sunshine. (IFC usually has two or three great films at Midnight. Sunshine is hit or miss, and the crowd is usually hipster. They ruined Labyrinth for me, tittering over Bowie’s tights.) I will shell out bigger bucks for IMAX, or even the Ziegfeld.

    This weekend at IFC:
    Hitchcock’s Blackmail (1929)
    De Palma’s Phantom of the Paradise (1974)
    Carpenter’s The Thing (1982)
    (My pick: Phantom)

    Landmark: Pulp Fiction
    (If only they would do a double-bill with “Memento”…)

  6. If only hipsters would stay inside the food trucks and artisan beer bars. They have this habit of jacking up prices of everything from pickles to flea markets…there has to be some kind of movie sanctuary for the rest of us.

  7. I paid $20 to see RAIDERS in Imax this past weekend in Times Square, NYC. Loved every minute of it.

    I’d rather pay $20 to see a GREAT 20-30 year old movie in a nice theatre then a dollar for a Redbox DVD for a new POS movie!

    I find that comparison goes for most new comics as well, the older stuff is better then the new…

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