Following up the slowest box office weekend of the year, prohibition-era drama "Lawless" and horror-thriller "The Possession" will both be eying the top box office slot this weekend, though neither seems likely to put up a big opening total. Also hitting theaters will be "The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure," an obscure G-rated family film that is getting a surprising release of more than 2,000 total venues this weekend.
Now that all of the major blockbusters have come and gone, studios continue to release some of their least anticipated films of the year in what is typically a low point on the movie release schedule. With R-rated action-thriller "The Expendables 2" winding down heading into its third weekend, drama "Lawless" is looking to scoop up some adult audiences this weekend, though it's unclear at this point whether it will have enough buzz to take it all the way to the top of the charts.
Starring Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy and Jessica Chastain, "Lawless" carries mostly positive critical reviews, which could in turn give it a slight edge over "The Possession." Anticipating a slow overall weekend, distributor Weinstein Company ended up releasing "Lawless" this past Wednesday, a strategy that will cut into its opening weekend revenue but should yield a higher five-day total in the process. Look for "Lawless" to finish the weekend around $12 million and to potentially finish neck-and-neck with "The Possession" at the top of the charts.
Hitting roughly 100 extra venues this weekend, "The Possession" could have a slight overall edge, particularly with a lack of horror films currently anywhere near the top 10. With Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kyra Sedgwick heading the cast, "The Possession" doesn't have much bona fide star power, though that hasn't slowed down similar horror releases in the past. With "The Possession" making its way to an estimated 2,700 total venues this weekend, an opening total of around $12-$14 million seems likely for the Lionsgate distribution.
Also looking to make a dent with mainstream audiences this weekend is "The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure," a G-rated family feature that will hit 2,160 venues across the country. From distributor Kenn Viselman Presents, "Oogieloves" doesn't have too much competition outside of "ParaNorman," though it enters the weekend as one of the most obscure wide releases of the entire year. "Oogieloves" could squeeze into the bottom portion of the top 10, though it's very unlikely that it will have much of an overall impact.
As new releases struggle to make a dent with their target demographics, the rest of the field should see limited slips in revenue from last weekend. Coming off of an unimpressive opening, "Premium Rush" will be hoping to rebound with the help of positive critical reviews, though the Sony/Columbia distribution has been mostly avoided by its target demographic thus far. Even with a relatively decent second weekend in theaters, it appears that "Premium Rush" will only make it back to the top 10 one or two more times.
Another title looking to get back into the top 10 is "2016 Obama's America," a political documentary that put up surprisingly strong numbers a week ago. Despite being from an independent distributor (Rocky Mountain Pictures), "2016 Obama's America" built off of the red-hot presidential campaign to put up more than $6 million last weekend, which is a very good total for a release that hit only 1,091 total venues. "2016 Obama's America" should put together one more solid weekend and end up in the bottom portion of the top 10, easily enough to make it a commercial success for distributor Rocky Mountain Pictures.
Next weekend, the box office will continue its slow pace, as action-thriller "The Cold Light of Day" and drama "The Words" will be the only two wide releases hitting theaters. The release schedule will then pick up later in the month with director Paul Thomas Anderson's highly anticipated art-house flick "The Master," a 3D rerelease of Pixar's smash hit "Finding Nemo" and "Resident Evil: Retribution," the fifth installment of the popular action franchise.
RTT Box Office Predictions for 8/31/12 - 9/2/12 (in millions):
1. The Possession (Lionsgate): $12.5
2. Lawless (Weinstein): $12
3. The Expendables 2 (Lionsgate): $6.8
4. The Bourne Legacy (Universal): $4.8
5. ParaNorman (Focus): $4.6
6. The Campaign (Warner Brothers): $4.1
7. The Dark Knight Rises (Warner Brother): $3.7
8. The Odd Life of Timothy Green (Disney): $3.6
9. Premium Rush (Sony/Columbia): $3.3
10. 2016 Obama's America (Rocky Mountain): $3.2
by RTT Staff Writer
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