Slowest weekend of the year for box office
The Possession occupied the top spot at a nearly comatose box office. The fright flick with Kyra Sedgwick and Jeffrey Dean Morgan playing the parents of a girl possessed by a demon earned US$9.5 million in its second outing, the lowest-grossing weekend for the box office this year and one of the worst weekends at the box office in a decade. It marked the first time since 2008 that no film managed to crack the US$10-million mark.
The weekend after the Labour Day holiday is typically the slowest of the year, but this weekend's grosses were down 20 per cent over last year when Contagion opened in first place with US$22.4 million.
Total box office revenues are estimated at US$67 million, which would make this the worst weekend at the box office since the weekend after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks when revenues were US$59.7 million.
"There just wasn't a strong opener," said Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst for Hollywood.com.
"We came off a summer that ended with a whimper. There wasn't any momentum. It just comes down to the movies and the marketplace. There wasn't some extraneous force keeping people out of the theatres. This crop of movies just didn't have that solid draw."
The bootlegging tale Lawless, starring Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy and Jessica Chastain, kept a lock on the No. 2 position in its second weekend with US$6 million, bringing its total haul to US$23.5 million, while The Words, featuring Bradley Cooper as an aspiring writer and Zoe Saldana as his girlfriend, debuted in third place with US$5 million.
A pair of action sequels rounded out the top-five films. The ensemble flick The Expendables 2 earned US$4.7 million in its fourth weekend, while The Bourne Legacy captured US$4 million in its fifth outing at the box office.
2016: Obama's America, a conservative film exploring the roots of President Barack Obama's political views, raised its total to US$26 million in its ninth week of release, earning another US$3.3 million this weekend. That makes 2016 now the second-highest grossing political documentary of all time behind liberal director Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, which holds the top spot with US$119.1 million.
The Cold Light of Day, the weekend's only other new film, didn't crack the top 10. The drama, starring Henry Cavil and Bruce Willis, earned just US$1.8 million in the No. 13 spot.
Below The Cold Light of Day, an IMAX re-release of 1981's Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark collected US$1.7 million in the No. 14 position. The film, starring Harrison Ford as the iconic archaeologist, is playing a limited engagement in 267 theatres.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at US and Canadian theatres, according to Hollywood.com.