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Weekend Report: 'Words,' 'Cold Light' Bomb on Worst Weekend in Years

9 September 2012 11:33 AM, PDT

With two lousy new releases and a handful of mediocre holdovers, the box office reached its lowest point in years this weekend. The Top 12 earned $51.9 million, which is 37 percent below 2012's previous low. It's also the worst gross since this same weekend in 2008 ($50.3 million). External factors like the beginning of the school year and the start of the NFL season surely contributed a bit, but the real issue here is the lack of compelling offerings. This really isn't rocket science: if the content doesn't look worthwhile, people simply aren't going to leave their homes, travel to the theater, and drop $8 a ticket.The Possession repeated in first place with $9.3 million, which is a 48 percent decline from last weekend. That's actually a good hold for a supernatural horror movie, as virtually all of these flicks drop a minimum of 50 percent (and often 60 percent) in their second outings. The Possession has now earned $33.2 million total, »

- Ray Subers <mail@boxofficemojo.com>

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'The Possession' Tops Terrible Day at the Box Office

8 September 2012 1:00 PM, PDT

The Possession held on to first place on what was likely the lowest-grossing Friday since September 2008. Among openers, The Words underwhelmed while The Cold Light of Day performed about as poorly as expected.The Possession fell 53 percent to an estimated $2.88 million on Friday. That's actually a solid hold considering supernatural horror movies have been known to drop 60 percent or more on their second Friday. With a $26.7 million total, it's currently running about even with Lionsgate's The Last Exorcism. Lawless once again took second place with an estimated $1.78 million, which is a light 36 percent drop from last Friday. The period drama has now grossed $19.3 million, which is a bit ahead of last year's The Debt ($18.5 million) through the same point.The Words debuted to an estimated $1.6 million on Friday, and distributor CBS Films is expecting around $5 million for the three-day weekend. That's below the already-modest forecasts, and it's clear that the »


- Ray Subers <mail@boxofficemojo.com>

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Summer 2012 Winners/Losers

7 September 2012 4:59 PM, PDT

A quiet Labor Day weekend capped a Summer season that started off strong but struggled to maintain momentum through the full four months. Total domestic box office came in at $4.29 billion, which is off 2.6 percent from last year's record $4.4 billion. Overall, it ranks as the third highest-grossing Summer behind 2011 and 2009. However, the estimated 534 million tickets sold during the period is tied with 2010 for lowest ticket sales in at least 15 years. While this is a bit of a cliche, it truly was feast-or-famine at the domestic box office this Summer. The Top Five titles accounted for over 41 percent of total grosses for the season, which is the highest share in at least 20 years. In comparison, the Top Five only contributed 32 percent of last Summer's box office.Using historical comparisons and pre-release expectations, I've compiled a list of the winners, losers, and everything in between for Summer 2012.WinnersThe Avengers: Everyone knew The Avengers would be big, »

- Ray Subers <mail@boxofficemojo.com>

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Summer 2012 Winners/Losers (cont.)

7 September 2012 4:27 PM, PDT

<< Continued from "Summer 2012 Winners/Losers"LosersDark Shadows: Johnny Depp and Tim Burton's last collaboration, Alice in Wonderland, earned over $1 billion worldwide. While Dark Shadows was, as the title suggests, a bit darker, it's still inexcusable for these box office heavyweights to wind up with less than $240 million this time around.Battleship: Turning a simple naval strategy board game in to a $200 million alien invasion movie a la Transformers never seemed like a good idea and, as expected, audiences completely rejected it at the U.S. box office. It earned a pathetic $65.2 million, which was even worse than star Taylor Kitsch's previous mega-budget sci-fi bomb John Carter ($73.1 million). Sure, it did fine business overseas ($237.6 million), but that wasn't enough to prevent a massive write-off for Universal.Total Recall: Remaking Arnold Schwarzenegger movies is proving to be a really poor decision: Conan the Barbarian bombed last Summer with $21.3 million, »

- Ray Subers <mail@boxofficemojo.com>

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Forecast: Fall 2012 Kick-Off Poised to Be Worst Weekend of the Year

6 September 2012 5:52 PM, PDT

The first weekend of September is notoriously one of the places where tough sells go to die at the box office, and this year fits well in to that model. For a while, Bradley Cooper drama The Words looked like the only nationwide release, though last week Lionsgate/Summit recently decided to move forward with a nationwide release for Bruce Willis-Henry Cavill thriller The Cold Light of Day. Neither of these movies is getting much attention, and this will likely be the first weekend in four years where no movie earns more than $10 million. The Words is debuting at 2,801 locations, which is a very wide opening for the kind of romantic drama that would have probably seen a platform release if it weren't for Bradley Cooper's presence. Between the two Hangover movies and surprise hit Limitless, Cooper has built a solid fanbase, and the box office success »

- Ray Subers <mail@boxofficemojo.com>

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Awful August Ends Summer 2012

5 September 2012 5:13 PM, PDT

Thanks to a remarkably weak slate of movies, overall box office came in at around $806 million in August. That's off 10 percent from last year, and is actually the lowest-grossing August since 2006. To emphasize how bad August's releases were, the top movie for the month was actually a holdover from July. The Dark Knight Rises earned $122.7 million in August, bringing its total to $426.7 million through the end of the month. At the same point in its run, predecessor The Dark Knight was at $495.8 million, and The Dark Knight Rises is going to ultimately wind up around $80 million shy of that movie's $533 million total. The Bourne Legacy was the highest-grossing August release with $90.8 million through 22 days. In comparison, The Bourne Ultimatum had earned nearly twice as much ($176.5 million) through the same period. The franchise reboot/spin-off is at least tracking ahead of The Bourne Identity ($83 million), but that gap has been closing quickly, »

- Ray Subers <mail@boxofficemojo.com>

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Around-the-World Roundup: 'Dark Knight Rises' Joins Billionaire Club

4 September 2012 6:10 PM, PDT

Thanks to a massive opening in China, The Dark Knight Rises is now the 13th movie ever to reach $1 billion worldwide. Including Monday domestic grosses, The Dark Knight Rises has now made over $1.01 billion, which means sometime this weekend it passed The Dark Knight ($1.003 billion) to become the highest-grossing Batman movie ever.Since opening last Monday, The Dark Knight Rises has earned $31 million in China. That's not quite the highest opening so far this year (that title belongs to Titanic 3D) but it is way up on The Avengers ($17.4 million) at least. The movie also debuted this weekend in Italy, where it earned $9.1 million including previews. That tally alone is 73 percent of The Dark Knight's total there, indicating that Italy will be a growth market for the three-quel. Through Sunday, the movie's foreign total was at a very impressive $577.7 million, and it will cross $600 million by next weekend. The »

- Ray Subers <mail@boxofficemojo.com>

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